Karamoja cattle branding Peace reduces theft

Cattle in the grazing field.

Cattle in the grazing field. PHOTO: Keith Loyapan

The Uganda government through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has set aside US$8.46 million (USh 2 billion) to carry out electronic cattle branding exercise in Karamoja region.


This was announced by Ketty Namero, the undersecretary in OPM recently during a one-day regional meeting on electronic cattle branding at Mt. Moroto hotel.
In 2012, Government launched electronic cattle branding to get rid of cattle rustling in Karamoja. Namero noted that the government branded up to 80,000 cattle in the region during the first phase of electronic branding.
The second phase to be managed by OPM in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Industry targets
112,000 cattle. She explained there were a lot of challenges in the initial phase, which included low community mobilization in some districts. She appealed to district leaders to play their role to ensure there will be no more resistance from the community on the electronic cattle branding exercise.
“We need to work as a team. My appeal is to the politicians to sensitize the community about the importance of electronic branding of cattle to get rid of cattle theft,” she said.

Under the programme, the cattle swallow electronic boluses bearing details of the owner, village, parish and district. In the event the animal is raided and recovered from another district, the cattle are detected using a computer.
The Turkana Guardian has learnt that the electronic cattle branding has drastically reduced cattle theft because the animals are easily identified and returned to the rightful owners.
On the other hand, branded cattle are not sold easily, and the hides have low value.
John Lorot, the district chairperson of Nakapiripirit who’s also the Karamoja regional chairperson commended the project. He said it had helped the recovery of cattle.
“Before this project was introduced we had a lot of issues in the community when it came to handing over recovered animals to the rightful owners. This was because people whose animals were not raided could claim the recovered animals.
But since the programme began, it has eliminated the habit because the machine tells the rightful owner of the cattle,” he said.



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