Minister Kabanda, MAAIF, clash over ban on meat sale in Kampala

Kampala, (UG):- The Minister for Kampala City and Metropolitan Affairs, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, has directed against the implementation of the ban on selling meat in Kampala issued last week by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) after an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Kabowa, Rubaga Division last month.

In her March 01 letter addressed to the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the Ministry through Dr Anna Rose Ademun, the Commissioner of Animal Health issued a directive ordering all local authorities under KCCA to enforce a quarantine restriction on the movement of cattle, goats, sheep and their by-products within Kampala.

“Livestock markets, slaughter places including butcheries, loading grounds and animal shows in the entire [Kampala] district are hereby closed with immediate effect,” Dr Ademun’s letter read in part.

“The local government administrators, DVO, LCs, chiefs, enforcement personnel and the general public, are requested to enforce quarantine restrictions as per the Animal Diseases Act. Cap 38,” she added.

However, while responding to concerns raised by the business community and city dwellers, Minister Kabanda has now revealed that the Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, had halted the implementation of the ban as the government continues to assess the impact of the disease in the capital city. 

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In her interview with Monitor publication on Sunday, Ms Kabanda noted that the Prime minister on Friday asked the Ministry of Agriculture to withdraw the directive as the government continues to assess the impact of the disease in the capital city.

“When we saw the letter we went to the Prime Minister for guidance, she rang the person who had issued the statement and told her to withdraw it until further notice,” Ms Kabanda said.

“We are yet to receive further guidance in response to the Prime Minister’s directive, but as KCCA we are saying that the status quo remains. People should continue eating meat but we encourage the meat packers to ensure that the animals are tested before being slaughtered,” she added.

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This publication understands that thousands of jobs and livelihoods were already in peril with the impending ban, and the directive to overturn the same now comes as a relief to many butcher owners, cattle market operators and beef customers.

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