Private sector participation in animal health services: Requirements and expectations
Private sector participation in animal health services:
Requirements and expectations
Indraph M. Ragwa, C.E.O., Kenya Veterinary Board
Enhancing Private Sector Participation in Animal Health Services, ILRI-
Nairobi, 7 November 2019
Veterinary profession in Kenya started in the 1890s after
the establishment of the Department of Veterinary
Services to cater for white settlers during the colonial
Prior to Kenya’s independence from the British
Government, Veterinary Services were mainly provided by
the private sector.
To regulate the profession, Kenya Veterinary Board was
established on 13th October 1953.
After Kenya gained independence in 1963, veterinary
services became a public good where the services were
now provided by the Government.
This continued until the advent of the structural
adjustment programs in the late 1980s.
The upshot being privatization of clinical services, tick
control, artificial insemination and freeze on the
employment of animal health service providers by the
Privatization was misconstrued to mean that every Tom,
Dick and Harry could now provide veterinary services.
That period saw the emergence of unqualified personnel
who provided sub-standard services to farmers and
The end result being loss of animals of high value,
exposing the public to drugs and chemical residues thus
contributing to antimicrobial resistance.
This also affected access of livestock and livestock
products to international markets.
Government Regulatory Measures
Attempts were then made by the Directorate of Veterinary Services to
contain the situation where a circular was issued prescribing that for
one to offer veterinary services, especially in agrovets, the minimum
qualification should be a two-year training in Animal Health from
In 2008 through session paper no 2 (National Livestock Policy), the
government resolved to separate management of veterinary medicines
from that of human medicines.
The provision of Animal Health services was transformed in 2011
through enactment of the Veterinary Surgeons Veterinary
Paraprofessional Act which clearly stated that these services can only
be provided by competent and registered personnel.
Government Regulatory Measures (cont.)
The preamble for this act reads:
“An act of Parliament to make provision for training, registration and
licencing of veterinary surgeons and veterinary paraprofessionals; to
provide for matters relating to animal health services and welfare and
for connected purposes”.
The Act and its attendant regulations provides a comprehensive
framework to regulate the provision of animal health services.
Besides incorporating the veterinary paraprofessionals in the
regulation bracket, it also introduced other measures including an
inspectorate unit to ascertain compliance with the standards in
various practices, introduction of veterinary internship program
before registration, introduction of continuous professional
development programs for practitioners.
Provisions of the Act
Pursuant to Section 13 (I) of this Act,
“No person shall practice or hold himself out, whether
directly or indirectly, as practicing or being able to practice
as a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary paraprofessional or
take up employment as such unless he is registered and
licenced under the Act”,
13 (2), “No organization or institution shall offer animal
health services unless it is registered and issued with a
licence by the Board and has a registered veterinary surgeon
in its employment in charge of the Animal Health and
Requirements for Registration
Before registration applicants have to meet several requirements
which include, interalia, animal health training from institutions
recognized by the Board and undergoing a one-year veterinary
The requirements are by the dint of Sections 15, 16 and 17 of the
VSVP Act, while after retention, one is supposed to be retained
annually in the register by dint of Section 21 (1).
In addition to being registered under the Act, private practitioners are
required to take an annual licence by the dint of Section 26 of the
Over and above all they require to abide by the code of ethics for
veterinary surgeons and veterinary paraprofessionals all the time.
Definition of Veterinary Practice
For greater certainty and pursuant to Section 14 of the Act, veterinary
Prevention of an infectious or organic disease or pathological
Performance of surgical operations on an animal
Dispensing or administration of veterinary medicines on an animal
Giving of any treatment, advice, training, research, consultant
services, diagnosis or attendance and other related veterinary
Inspection of foods of animal origin for purposes of food safety
Provision of animal welfare services
Veterinary Practice Facilities
Some of the veterinary practice facilities
Veterinary clinics and hospitals