Kenya

Fake vet treats a hundred cows in Meru

Fake vet treats a hundred cows in Meru
  • The man had administered fake vaccinations to about 100 cows in two days by the time he was arrested.

Dairy farmers in Gaturumbari village, Meru County have made a citizen's arrest after discovering that a man who administered vaccinations to about 100 cows in two days was a fake veterinary officer.

The young man is reported to have injected the animals with water, while using the same syringe, with each farmer having been conned into forking out Sh150 for the services.

The man had taken advantage of a halted vaccination exercise by the county government and took over from where official veterinary officers had reached.

Arthur Kathuri, a village elder, said the fake vet had visited over 30 homesteads where around 100 cows had been vaccinated for lumpy skin disease, until some residents began to have doubts about his mode of operation.

“County veterinary officers had planned to take over from this village after December 31, 2019. They however did not show up as planned and the fake one took advantage,” he said.

A resident, Tabitha Mukami, claimed to have developed a severe headache and stomach ache after consuming milk from her cow that was treated by the quack.

“He told me that my cow was ailing and he just injected my cow and told me to get mineral salt for the cow to improve. He appeared drunk and was always in haste,” she said.

Another resident, Purity Karimi, whose two cows were vaccinated said many farmers questioned his behaviour and confronted him.

Kanyakine Senior Chief Isabella Mutura said hawk eyed members of public noticed that the man was always in a hurry and was not composed like other veterinary officers who frequent the area, and arrested him.

“Many farmers did not know how to identify a real veterinary officer. They thought that as long as one looked smart, had mud boots and carried the bag where veterinary officers placed their drugs, then he was fit,” she said.

Following arrest, members of the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) visited the area and held a baraza with affected farmers to educate them on how to identify real officers.

KVB chief inspector Dr Paul Marigi said the quack had been arraigned in Nkubu magistrate court and fined Sh50,000.

He said the fake officer had used water to inject the animals and there was no cause for alarm.

“It is only the bottle that resembled that of a vaccine but it only contained water. We have explained to the farmers how to identify veterinary surgeon and other professionals. We issues practicing certificates which are renewed every year, they have badges which have their names and photograph. It is the right of the farmers to demand to see the documents because they can lose economically,” said Dr Marigi.

Meru County veterinary officer Missi Mutunga said they would announce the venues for the official vaccination exercise.

Dr Mutunga said the devolved unit had banned home slaughter and all animals designated for slaughter must be taken to a slaughter house.