Kenya’s animal health industry unveils umbrella body to address sector needs
The animal health industry in Kenya has today launched a new body that will articulate and address the needs of industry players.
The Veterinary Input Suppliers Association of Kenya (VISAK) is an umbrella organization for manufacturers, formulators, importers, distributors of animal health products and related equipment. It will be responsible for among other things, promoting public education and awareness on the proper use of animal health products and encouraging and promoting fair practice within the industry.
Following the gazettement in 2016 of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) which is now mandated to oversee the manufacture, importation, exportation, registration, distribution, prescription and dispensing of veterinary medicines, key industry players – particularly in the private sector identified a need to have an agency that will engage with the government and other stakeholders on their behalf on issues of animal health provision.
Previously, this role was played by the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya under its animal health sub-committee.
The changes in the regulatory regime were necessitated by the international trend where the regulation of veterinary medicine is now required to be under the Ministry or Department that deals with animal disease control to leverage synergy in regulation of the relevant vaccines and pharmaceuticals, disease control and monitor drug residue in animal products.
Speaking during the launch, VISAK Chief Executive Officer, Eric Kimunguyi said the association will work tirelessly to protect and promote the interests of its members.
“We will work with the government and other agencies to ensure that issues affecting all stakeholders in the animal health business are well represented so that our members continue to provide safe veterinary inputs within a fair and just environment,” said Mr Kimunguyi.
He urged all companies dealing with animal health products and related equipment to be part of VISAK.
The launch was presided over by Honourable Harry Kimtai, Principal Sectary of Livestock Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation.
Hon. Kimtai appreciated the good working relationship that VMD has with VISAK noting that the government will work with VISAK to support its objectives.
“I am delighted VISAK is working with VMD to discuss challenges the industry is facing and at the same time developing operational guidelines such as Drugs registration, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP),Good Distribution Practices (GDP), etc. I would like to ask VMD to continue engaging VISAK so that they can build their technical capacity through trainings and develop the much needed guidelines to ensure that their operations meet the acceptable regulatory requirements on documentations on every aspect they perform,” said Hon. Kimtai.
The launch was attended by representatives from Kenya Veterinary Board, Kenya Veterinary Association, Pest Control Products Board, Pest Management Association of Kenya, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Federation of Kenya Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, GALVmed, Business Advocacy Fund among other stakeholders and partners.