The impact of quarantine restrictions on livestock markets with special reference to foot and mouth disease in Garissa , district, Kenya
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This study investigated the impacts of quarantine restrictions on livestock markets In Garissa District, Kenya. It was aimed at generating information that would help In understanding the externalities of quarantine restrictions as a disease control measure in order to recommend ways of mitigating them. The objectives of the study were 1) to establish the traders and pastoralists' perceptions of quarantines as animal disease control measures and their responses to the imposition of quarantines; 2) to assess the effects of quarantines on livestock markets, their costs to the traders and impact on the main beneficiaries in the district, such as traders, middlemen, local authorities, and herders; 3) to determine the cost of carrying out routine vaccinations and ring-vaccinations in case of outbreaks ofFMD. To identify the impacts of quarantines, questionnaires were administered to traders in the Garissa main market; semi-structured interviews were also held with pastoralists at 4 watering points in Dadaab, Madogashe, Sura and Masalani; support service providers in the Garissa main market; and officials from the Garissa Municipal and County councils; government; and non-governmental organizations in the areas. Secondary information and livestock prices were also collected from the Department of Livestock Production, Department of Veterinary Services and Veterinaries Sans Frontieres - Suisse. Data on livestock disease quarantines enforced in the district during the period 2000 - 2004 was gathered. The study involved 34 traders, 36 key informants among the pastoralists, 30 support service providers, 5 council officials, 12 government personnel and 5 NGO personnel. During the last five years, five different quarantines were imposed due to various disease outbreaks, including Foot and Mouth Disease, Rinderpest, lumpy skin disease and New Castle disease. Some of the quarantines were subjectively assessed by the stakeholders as having a more serious impact than others. Eighty eight per cent (88%) of the traders reported the livestock market closure due to rinderpest in October 2003 was the most important incident that prevented traders from selling or buying livestock as it resulted in a district-wide closure of markets. The results of the study showed that quarantine restrictions had severe effects on livestock markets depending on the locality where the quarantine was imposed and the level of enforcement. Discussions with pastoralists and traders in the market showed that whereas FMD outbreaks occurred nearly every year in the Hagaa season (June - August), the official records indicated only two outbreaks in the last five years. Though they all agreed that the sick animals did not go to the market, the pastoralists and traders attributed the unwillingness to report disease outbreaks including: the fear of quarantines, lack of action by concerned authorities even if a disease outbreak was reported, distances and associated costs of reporting disease outbreaks to authorities based at distant district headquarters, and lack of understanding by some stakeholders of their roles in disease control. Most of the study respondents interviewed said that livestock movement restriction was a good way of controlling diseases, but it should not interfere with the main markets. For example, 70% of the traders considered quarantines as an effective measure while 18% and 12% considered it as punitive and a poor disease control measure, respectively. Quarantines were considered as a poor disease control measure mainly because of their negative effects on livestock markets in the district. For example, the traders were more concerned by the loss of income, increase in marginal costs and disruption of business reported by 91 %, 90% and 82% of the traders, respectively. The support service providers reported a loss in income (77%), disruption of their small scale businesses (60%) and drop in livestock prices (50%) while the council, government and NGO officials reported effects such as loss in revenue for council and Department of Veterinary Services, loss of income for market beneficiaries, disruption of development activities and effects on small - scale businesses. The council estimated that 65% of the Garissa town population depended on the Garissa livestock market. Thus, such a closure would have widespread effects, affecting a large population of peri-urban poor who were dependent on the market. When the Garissa livestock market was closed, the support services providers reported very few alternative engagements for the large number of people engaged in the market. The brokers, herders and trekkers reported that they either engaged in less lucrative occupations such as charcoal burning, firewood collection, sale of water, collection of building materials, and provision of construction labour or just stayed idle until the market re-opened. Over thirty eight percent (38.2%) of the traders reported that following the Garissa market closure they sought alternative markets either in the northern region (mainly Wajir and Mandera) and Jjara, while 62.8% said they waited for the market to re-open. The pastoralists reported minimal inconvenience unless the mam Garissa market was closed. If quarantines were imposed in locational markets, since they were rarely enforced, the traders continued to sell to shopkeepers and "bush" traders in these locations, or moved the animals to the nearest market in the locality. The impacts due to quarantines identified in the study included: loss of income to livestock owners, traders and support service providers; loss of government and council revenue; interference with small businesses and livestock development activities, among others. The financial costs of TADs outbreaks showed that stakeholders in the livestock industry lost income. A ninety day (90) closure of the markets resulted in losses that occurred for each single beneficiary in the market. The estimated losses were: Ksh 9,103,500 as foregone market opportunity in terms of unmarketed cattle for traders and pastoralists; Ksh 54,000 for a livestock broker; Ksh 48,000 for a vehicle broker; Ksh 1,003,320 for a transporter; Ksh 36,000 for a Matatu owner; Ksh 18,000; Ksh 12,000; and Ksh 30,000 for loader, livestock marker and escort, respectively. The revenue losses for the council and Department of Veterinary Services were estimated at Ksh 3,880,680 and Ksh 66,000 respectively. Given the current status of the diseases in the district, an eradication programme would not be feasible. The suggested control measures are an effective livestock movement control and improved vaccination. The costs of FMD control at district level, based on analysis of vaccination costs from Garissa District, showed that the district would spend Ksh 30,343,800 to undertake an annual vaccination against FMD. Of this 94% of the costs would be vaccine costs, 2.5% equipment and consumable inputs and 3.5% would be spent on staff travel. The average cost of vaccination per animal would be Ksh 108.50. The cost of undertaking a ring vaccination would be Ksh. 7,041,580, which was based on estimated target population of 105,813 heads of cattle as in the rinderpest outbreak, giving an average cost of vaccinating an animal of Ksh. 66.55. The cost of undertaking a ring vaccination was based on an estimated target population of 105,813 heads of cattle as was vaccinated during the rinderpest outbreak. The results from this study indicated that a strong TAOs control programme aimed at 85% vaccination coverage, strict quarantine enforcement and monitoring should be instituted. Other recommendations are sensitizing the pastoralists on the losses due to diseases and the importance of participation in disease control programmes, livestock movement control and development of long term strategies. The full impact of quarantine restrictions on livestock markets were not fully demonstrated because of the enormous data requirements. There is need for further research on the factors affecting the level of participation of livestock marketing stakeholders in livestock movement and disease control; identify the risk factors for entry and persistence of TAOs in Northeastern Kenya; and undertake an in-depth cost/benefit analysis of different control options suitable for nomadic pastoralists in order to maximize the opportunities for disease control in transboundary pastoral areas.