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Misleading graphics – Kenyans won’t be fined or jailed for rearing animals without a licence

IN SHORT: An eyebrow-raising announcement attributed to Kenya’s agriculture ministry is not what it seems – it is aimed at professionals and has been taken out of context in these widely circulated graphics.

Graphics circulating on social media claim that those who keep farm animals in the country without a licence will have to pay a hefty fine or face imprisonment if caught.

One such graphic, dated 4 December 2023, reads: “Kenyans to Pay Ksh500,000 Fine or 6 Months in Jail or Both for Rearing Farm Animals Without License in the Proposed Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill 2023.”

Other versions can be seen here, here, here, here and here. But is the information accurate? We checked.

False claim about Kenyan animal licences

What the bill says

The reports that Kenyans could face a fine of KSh500,000 (US$3,260) or six months in jail, or both, for keeping farm animals have gained traction and sparked much controversy.

Africa Check searched Google for the bill in question. It was published on the website of Kenya’s agriculture ministry.

The Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill 2023 will regulate the training, registration, and licensing of veterinarians, researchers, nutritionists and other technicians.

It reads: “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 offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.”

The bill is not aimed at farmers or Kenyans who keep animals, but at professionals who do not meet the requirements to provide animal production services.

The animal production services include;

  • Building capacity in related disciplines
  • Conducting research and development
  • Providing of animal feed and nutrition services
  • Improving and conserving animal genetic resources
  • Developing farm structures, tools and equipment to improve animal welfare

Ignore fake graphics

On 4 December, Jonathan Mueke, the principal secretary of the state department for livestock development, labelled the post fake in a post on X.

He went so far as to describe it as “fake news by enemies of progress”.

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