Uganda to Launch Electronic Livestock Identification and Traceability System

Cows drink water in a drying river in Isiolo County, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Geoffrey Njenga).

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The government, in collaboration with Makerere University, has introduced an electronic livestock identification and traceability system set to be implemented nationwide in the near future. This development was disclosed during the presentation of the Uganda Livestock Identification and Traceability System report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries.

The report details a two-year survey on the identification and traceability components, which involved the sampling of 160,000 animals from three districts bordering Uganda: Isingiro, Rakai, and Kyotera. In each sub-county, the aim was to register 10 to 20 farms, each housing 50 to 100 animals, resulting in 1,000 cattle per sub-county and a total of 4,000 cattle ear-tagged and registered in a district.

Prof. Anthony Mugisha, the project coordinator from Makerere University, explained that the system will track animals from their original farm to the market or holding ground and then to the final destination and abattoir. He further highlighted that with the electronic system, the commissioner of animal health would be able to trace permit issuance and all animals in the country in the event of a disease outbreak.

The system is anticipated to employ a radio tracking system at a cost of Shs12,000. State Minister for Animal Industry, Mr. Bright Rwamirama, emphasized that the livestock traceability would add significant value to Uganda’s livestock industry and benefit both ordinary citizens and other farmers capable of affording the electronic system.

Rwamirama also noted that the system would help exclude livestock treated with contra-indicated drugs from movement permits and assist in implementing quarantine measures, including the control of livestock movement and slaughter bans within registered zones. The project received support from the Government of Uganda and the European Union, with a total cost of Shs1.1 billion.

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