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500 heads of cattle in Lyantonde die due to fake drugs

LYANTONDE– Lyantonde district has lost about 500 heads of cattle after being vaccinated with fake veterinary medicines supplied by the local drug outlets.

According to Lyantonde District Veterinary Officer, Ronald Bameka, many unscrupulous people in the district have taken up the illegal business of manufacturing fake drugs to make money.

Bameka said the fake drugs are manufactured and packaged to look like legitimate brand-name medications but often contain little or none of the active ingredients listed on the label.

The official said the use of non-registered drugs and concoctions of agrochemicals have exposed health risks to animals and human beings as well.

He said administering such imaginary drugs to the animals might cause cancer and ulcers to human beings that consume milk and meat.

The Veterinarian said the use of fake drugs has instead caused anti-microbial resistance to drugs, warning dairy farmers of the dangers of the drugs to animals. ”As dairy farmers continue to spray their cows and apply the fake drugs, their cows have become blind and have lumpy skins,’ he said.

He said because the fake drugs have failed to kill the ticks, the parasites have caused the death of animals, restrained the growth of calves, and reduced the production of milk in the district.

”In the last six months, the district has lost over 500 cows caused by the adverse effects of fake drugs,” he said, adding that even the production of milk has been affected.

On the daily basis, he said the district used to produce about 100,000 litres of milk but now it has drastically reduced to 50,000 litres, thanks to fake drugs.

Godwin Katabazi a dairy farmer at Kaliiro village in Mpumudde Subcounty said he has used most of the drugs recommended by the National Drug Authority [NDA] but failed to kill the ticks. He said he then resorted to making fictitious agrochemicals, expecting to kill the ticks but still failed.

Meanwhile, the NDA assisted by police has mounted a crackdown on fake veterinary shops in Lukaya town council, Kulungu district, and Lyantonde district, arresting seven operators and impounding three tonnes of the fake drugs.

During the operation, many veterinary drug shops were found selling duplicated drugs for treating animal diseases like foot and mouth disease and others.

The arrested suspects are in police custody awaiting to be charged for selling fake drugs.

NDA Spokesman, Abiaz Rwamwiri said owners of some drug shops were found putting labels on fake drugs as well as mixing pesticides with animal drugs.

He said there is need for cattle farmers to be vigilant and report those selling fake drugs, citing Banyankore Drug Shop in Lyantonde which he said was given a license but misused it by faking drugs and using unqualified staff.

Masaka regional police spokesperson, Muhammed Nsubuga said those arrested would be prosecuted in courts of law. He advised farmers to report all those they suspect to be selling fake drugs.

According to veterinarians, fakes animal drugs in the illicit supply chain pose a serious potential risk to animals.

In some cases, the fake animal drugs simply may lack the active ingredients, they say.

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