Disappointed veterinary practitioners to down tools over KWS suspensions

KWS Rangers

Nairobi,KENYA:Union of veterinary practitioners, Kenya (UVPK) has vowed to take unspecified measures including withdrawal of all the veterinary services including veterinary care wildlife in Kenya if the Tourism cabinet secretary Najib Balala will not rescind his decision of suspending their colleagues over the death of 10 rhinos after the botched translocation exercise to the Tsavo  East national park.

Through a statement sent to newsroom on Friday, UVPK said the officers have decades of experience in translocation and by CS Balala decision to suspend top veterinary wildlife doctors in Kenya is totally uncalled for, unwarranted and totally resisted by the Union of Veterinary Practitioners of Kenya.

They argued that the Officers have overseen thousands of wildlife translocation which makes them a resource to the country.

“The veterinary doctors safely immobilized, woke, loaded, transported, cared for the rhinos at the BOMAS for a whole week till the final decision to release to the wild. The environmental assessment did indicate positive survival,” Statement read.

They also stated that, It is hypocritical for the CS to have launched the translocations and blame technical officers who worked under full knowledge of his ministry.

“There are less than 400 Veterinary doctors serving the people of the Republic of Kenya in public service, 50% of them will attain the mandatory retirement age by June 2019. Of the Veterinary Surgeons in service, less than 7 Veterinary doctors currently work with KWS to provide care to our wildlife which earned the country over Sh. 120 billion in 2017,” Part of the statement read.

They suggested that the enquiry committee should have recommended employment of new and veterinary doctors in KWS and their failure to note this is akin to professional terrorism.

“The CS, KWS board and Director General must take blame since approval to move rhinos came from them.

The preliminary report indicated salt poisoning with expression of respiratory and gastrointestinal distress.

The translocated rhinos just like other wild animal were being acclimatized to salt environment,” They claimed

“Instead of the CS taking political responsibility for the messes he has created, he has gone ahead to destroy the human resource that the country has invested heavily,” They said.

Yesterday Cs Balala suspended six senior Kenya Wildlife Service officers over the deaths of rhinos trans-located to the Tsavo East National Park.

They include deputy director biodiversity, research and monitoring Samuel Kasik, head of veterinary and capture Francis Gakuya, head of capture service Isaac Leekolol, Tsavo East senior warden Felix Mwangangi, head of ecological monitoring Mohammed Omar and senior scientist Fredrick Lala.

Ten of the 11 rhinos moved to the park were confirmed died by the CS saying, the tenth rhino “sadly died on Wednesday while the remaining female had been attacked by lions.”