Gov’t Tightens On Livestock Movement To Accelerate Balaalo Cattle Keeper Eviction

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The government has renewed efforts to evict Balaalo cattle keepers from Northern and North Eastern Uganda.

Under the new arrangements, the government has issued strict livestock movement guidelines issued by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Lieutenant Colonel Bright Rwamirama, the Minister of State for Agriculture in charge of Animal Industry said the guidelines must strictly be implemented by all the stakeholders.

“Northern and parts of Eastern Uganda experienced the invasion of cattle keepers who moved their animals from unverified places looking for pasture and water for their animals (nomadic pastoralism). This group is locally referred to as “Balaalo”,” Minister said.

Minister notes that the illegal movements and grazing activities of the “Balaalo” have caused the spread of livestock diseases and conflicts between them and community landowners.

“During the course of this exercise, MAAIF has put up measures to ensure that the people of the affected areas continue to breed and trade in livestock and livestock products without compromising or undermining the exercise. These guidelines are applicable from 1st February to 31st March 2022,” The release reads in part.

The new guidelines require that; Livestock to move under a permit for any purpose within Lango, Acholi, and West Nile sub-regions must obtain a letter of no objection from the veterinary authorities of the district of final destination before a movement permit is issued by the DVO of the district of origin.

“Livestock moving for slaughter within the operation area must go through designated stock routes. The stock routes provided for use by these animals within the operation area include; Karuma — Pakwach — Nebbi — Arua. Karuma- CUIU- Kitgum. Culu -Amuru. Lira — ApacLira — Kitgum, Apac — Kamdini, Lira – Kamdini,”The guidelines read.

According to the Minister, in order to have controlled coordination and monitored livestock movements during the exercise, only two stock routes will be used by breeders and for slaughter from South to North and Eastern Uganda and this will be through Karuma and Jinja Nile Bridges.

He adds that livestock movements from South to North and East through Karuma and Jinja must have livestock movement permits from Commissioner Animal Health.

The directives further detail that all livestock must go through the established police checkpoints and their movements shall be monitored by police up to the final destination.

Minister also banned night movement of livestock and that all livestock moving to South Sudan must be accompanied by international movement permits issued by the Commissioner for Animal Health.

The decision stemmed from the directives by President Yoweri Museveni that saw a sub-cabinet committee appointed to investigate and organize to evict the “Balaalo” from Community, Government, and private land.

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