Government plans issuance of birth certificates to cattle

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Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gestures as he addresses delegates during the first India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi on April 9, 2008. India sought to deepen strategic and economic ties with resource-rich Africa as it held its first summit meeting with African leaders and sweetened the pot by offering financial help.Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, playing host to the presidents of five African states and senior leaders of nine other countries, announced export tariffs cuts that he said would benefit 34 of Africa's 53 countries. AFP PHOTO/Findlay KEMBER

Plans have reached an advanced stage for the issuance of “birth certificates” for the animals as well as registration of all farmers and their cattle by the Ugandan government.

Ugandan Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Ssempijja, said the move became necessary to enable government trace where the products are coming from.

Ssempijja explained that the international market demanded that all countries producing food for the European market needed to provide proof so that the food could be traced.

“They want to know where the meat and crop products are coming from.

“They have been impounding and banning all consignments from Uganda if they find one box with issues.

“Farmers will be registered and their products given barcodes so that if they find a problem with one box, they look for the source and sort out the problem.

“We cannot enter lucrative markets unless farmers register,” he said at the official opening of the National Agricultural Show in Jinja, southern Uganda.

Ssempijja added that all the cattle must be registered and given “birth certificates”.

“For cattle farmers, it is going to be worse. You will be registered as a farmer, the cow will be registered, numbered and will have a birth certificate because the importers of our products demand meat for cows aged between 15 to 24 months.

“So we are going to sell the meat depending on their age,” he added.

An audit team from the European Union is expected to arrive in Uganda in September to that effect.

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