CHALLENGES OF REFORMING NATIONAL VETERINARY LEGISLATION: EXPERIENCE OF UGANDA Dr Kauta Nicholas Chief veterinary officer Uganda 1st international conference on veterinary legislation 7th -9thDec 2010 Djerba -Tunisia
Presentation plan • Introduction • Drivers of legislative reform • Limitations to effective reforms. • Conclusions
Introduction • First veterinary legislation was introduced in 1918 – the Animal diseases Act • Major improvements in 1964 (six more Acts) • Since 1964 changes have mainly been amendments of existing laws. • Explicit Food safety legislation was introduced in 1964 and is taken care of by different ministries
Drivers of Legislative reforms Prevailing environment • Socio-political • economic, • cultural, • technological
Present status • Production system dominated by subsistence production (over 80%). Only hides and skins are exported. • Diverse and regional differences in use of animal resources. • Weak law reform capacity • Small national budgets • Many competing enterprises • Limited infrastructure for value addition to animal products.
Present status cont’d Veterinary services have until recently targeted • Improved animal production (through better health) – food security. • Public health (zoonosis) And not • International trade (requiring more commercial than subsistence production) • Low human development index
Current status Success stories • fish export to EU • Export of crop products eg coffee, tea to EU (eurepGap) • Access to EU for honey Planned programmes • Preparation to access EU and other markets with beef
Future prospects • High potential for participation in global trade in animal products • A lot of work needs to be done to realize this.
Socio- economic- political issues Fundamental difference • Developed countries – internal markets: internal consumer demands • Developing countries - external markets: external consumer demands • Food value of animals is only a small part of the total value of the animals in many communities (traction and media of exchange of values dominates).
Socio-economic- political cont’d • Cost benefit analysis is often biased towards animal product value e.g meat and milk • Yet the benefits are analyzed from different perspectives by different communities. • Who is perceived to benefit? • Why are we considering export of meat when we do not have enough for ourselves?
Political considerations • Difficulties in pushing through contentious laws which create precedents. e.g compensation policy is shunned – • why veterinary diseases? • What about others?
Commercialized production vs subsistence production • Food safety – historically was a response to an increasing number of people who depended more on marketed food than domestically prepared food. • 80% of animals kept on low input – low output production systems serving subsistence needs. • This weakens our augment and competitiveness because a small amount of the food goes through the food safety web.
Constrained financial resources and resultant competition • Budgets are fixed over a long period of time with limited flexibility • Short term (1 to 2 yrs), medium term (3-5 yrs) and long term (6 -15 yrs) • Budgetary ceiling mean competitions for limited resources with resources being reallocated as different stakeholders argue cases out.
Investments challenges • Investments to meet the demands of new laws. • In the face of small budgets investments are slow and protracted. • Yet governments are aiming for quick returns to investment. • Loss of interest in the face of other competing values. • Under the circumstances the private sector must fill in the gap
Competition • In the wake of competitions, benefits from implementation of veterinary legislation are subject to deliberate misinterpretation and deliberate misrepresentation. • These tools are often used in competitions for resource allocation.
Major challenge • Use of other institutions to drive our agenda has proved difficult (bureaucracy).
The role of Ministry of Finance • In Policy formulation the Ministry of Finance is the clearing house for policy proposals to Cabinet. Is a filter. • Technical in the cost - benefit analysis • Lack of professional representation at critical stages in the process which opens the way for misrepresentation due to lack of adequate background information or biases.
Harmonization with other legislation • harmonization of veterinary legislation with other legislation is a demanding process. • We are locked in a battle as to which ministry should take the lead on food safety in the face of farm to fork approach
OIE support • PVS (Performance, Vision & Strategy) tool – 2007 • Veterinary legislation – mission received in Uganda 2010. In principle we are due to sign MoU with OIE. Process going through our legal departments. • Thank OIE for this support.
Conclusions • Veterinary legislation needs to be updated in Uganda. • However the process is manned at different stages by persons with little supportive information and this must be addressed • Legal advisory units should be established under the veterinary authority on fulltime basis. • The resources needed to review veterinary legislation may not be enough under public expenditure. Support is required from other sources including private sectors. • Zoning of production must be considered .
. Thank you