, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – The Kenya Veterinary Association (KVS) has decried what it terms as the arbitrary suspension of six senior Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officials by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala over the deaths of 10 rhinos.
In a statement, the association’s National Chairman Samuel Kahiriri stated that the work of assessing the salt levels is not the responsibility of the veterinarians.
He pointed out that the levels of salinity that are tolerable by rhinos are also not documented and therefore could not be used to suspend the officials.
“We call upon the CS to reinstate the veterinary doctors and work with the professionals to improve the service delivery at the KWS.”
Among those suspended include KWS Deputy Director in-charge of Biodiversity, Research and Monitoring Samuel Kasiki, Head of Veterinary Services Francis Kakuya and Head of Capture Services Isaac Lekulol.
Others include Mohammed Omar who is the Head of Ecology and Frederick Lala who is the Senior Scientist in-charge of Tsavo East.
Kahiriri stressed that should if there was professional negligence on the part of the veterinarians, it can only be handled by the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) which is by law the body mandated to regulate them.
Eleven rhinos were moved to Tsavo East National Park and only one is alive.
He stated the need for the government to “move the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to a Ministry called Animal Resources Ministry which should also look at all matters of animal health cutting across the livestock, companion and the wildlife.”
He explained that this will ensure all animals get the requisite attention from qualified professionals.
“KWS currently has a total of 12 veterinarians which is exactly 50 per cent of the requisite numbers. This shortage predisposes the animals to scarce veterinary services that are much required,” he said.
He further urged the KWS board to employ the required veterinarians to the service immediately to cushion our heritage from unwarranted losses.
He also underscored the need for the wildlife body to commission a study and document the tolerance levels for salinity in the various species of animals in order to inform the future operations.