Bill Proposes Ksh 500K Fine & Jail Term for Kenyans Rearing Animals at Home

A photo of DP Rigathi Gachagua at his farm in Mathira, Nyeri County in June 2023
A photo of DP Rigathi Gachagua at his farm in Mathira, Nyeri County in June 2023

Kenyans rearing farm animals without a licence may soon face a fine of Ksh500,000 or be jailed for six months or both.

The proposal is outlined in the Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill 2023, which seeks to provide training, registration, and licensing of animal production professionals, technicians, specialists, and firms.

Additionally, the bill seeks to provide for the regulation of the standards and practices of the Animal Production profession. It describes animal production as keeping farm animals for subsistence, commercials, and cultural purposes.

"Any person who carries out animal production services without having been registered under this Act, or otherwise contravenes any provisions of this Part, commits an offense and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding Ksh500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both," reads part of the bill.

Cows graze inside President Uhuru Kenyatta's Gicheha farm
A photo of cows grazing inside former President Uhuru Kenyatta's Gicheha farm.

Kenyans seeking a licence will have to apply at the Animal Production Professionals Board and wait for approval within a stipulated period after paying the set fee. 

Each licence issued shall be valid from January 1 to December 31 of the year. With this time, the licence may also be suspended by the board for various reasons, including false information in the application.

Notably, foreigners may qualify to acquire licences if they meet the set guidelines, including if they were offering animal production services in another country.

After approval, the board shall hold the individual or firm's name and other details. Further, the registered members will be required to pay an annual fee as prescribed by the board.

If the licence is cancelled, the person will be required to surrender their certificate of registration to the board's Registrar or be fined Ksh50,000.

Besides issuing licences, the board shall advise the government on animal production, research, training, and employment. It will also collaborate with universities and other training institutions to improve response to challenges in the livestock sector, among other roles.

Meanwhile, to sharpen the skills of the licensee, the board shall offer programs on professional development activities relating to animal production from recognised institutions across the country. Those who attend participate shall receive credit points.

"Every registered and licensed person under this Act shall undertake annual continuing professional development activities," reads part of the bill.

This comes after Kenyans were divided by the Livestock Bill 2023 that demands all farmers producing animal feeds to be licensed or face a fine of Ksh20,00 or six months imprisonment.

President William Ruto inspecting his farm
President William Ruto inspecting his farm.