Rwanda: Veterinary Council Vows to Track Down On Unprofessional Doctors

10 November 2019

The Veterinary Council has pledged to continue tracking down unprofessional field veterinary doctors who endanger people's health by allowing meat of animals with health hazards to be consumed.

Dr Alphonse Nshimiyimana, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Council of Veterinary Doctors (RCVD) said that they have already recorded some corruption and forgery cases among the members.

He was speaking while receiving new members to the council which is made up of 3,000 members.

"Among the issues and the challenges the profession is still facing, include poor veterinary service delivery in Rwanda. We have experienced some cases of field veterinary doctors who are corrupt and some who present forged papers to become members of the council," he said.

"Even farmers report cases to us. On the field, we have representatives at provincial, district and sector level who are helping us to conduct investigations. When they report to the council, we sit and assess if we can handle the issue through disciplinary committee which further confirms the investigation," he said.

He noted that the committee will impose fines including suspending the suspects or dismissing them from the council.

"This year, we recorded two cases of those who forged university degrees. We didn't immediately discover this forgery but whistleblowers alerted us," he said.

He said other issues hampering the profession include insufficient practical skills for field veterinarians in pig and poultry farming as well as beekeeping.

There are also insufficient vet kits for artificial insemination, surgery and motorbikes for easing field visits.

"We have also experienced the no compliance with the current ministerial order on setting tariffs of vet interventions, poor monitoring and evaluation of field activities in the field, very weak system of recording population of animals and production," he said.

Employment opportunities

He added that there were employment opportunities for veterinarians considering that there are about 1.3 million cows with increased quality in genetics.

"Between the past five and ten years, the animal population has tripled," he said. Figures show that Rwanda's chicken population increased by 9 percent per year from 3.5 million in 2010 to 7.6 million in 2018.

Poultry meat production increased from 13,700 tonnes in 2010 to 45,000 tonnes in 2018.

Livestock master plan projects an increase of 239 per cent of pork in the next 5 years moving from 19,000 to 67,000 metric tons of pork.

"The focus in rearing domestic animals is now on small livestock as they multiply quickly. This is an employment opportunity for veterinary doctors," he said.

Other employment opportunities, especially for young graduates, include fodder seeds production, distribution of concentrated feeds, veterinary clinics, pharmacies, artificial insemination in cattle, swine, dairy technology and inspection, quality inspection, beekeeping among others.

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