Ministry of Agriculture has revealed that government has earmarked Shs182b to actualise transfer of mandate in regulation of veterinary drugs from National Drug Authority (NDA) to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
Dr Doris Kiconco, the assistant Commissioner-in-charge of Veterinary Regulations and Enforcement at MAAIF, said policies and laws are already being developed by the ministry to regulate the drugs.
“We have got Shs182b from government to invest in transfer of mandates of regulation of veterinary drugs from NDA to MAAIF,” said Dr Kiconco while officiating at the launch of a new research centre at Makerere University School of Veterinary Medicine yesterday.
This move follows a 2016 directive by President Museveni that all animal drugs should be vetted by MAAIF.
In March 2019, the Acting Commissioner of Animal Health, Dr Anne Rose Ademun, wrote to the Secretary to Authority at NDA saying MAAIF was going to start taking full control in regulating veterinary drugs.
“The MAAIF as a competent government agency responsible for animal health and welfare in the country is mandated to be in the know about all the veterinary inputs that are imported in the country in order to ensure quality and safety of animals.
“However, under the current arrangements this is not the case. It is very important that the competent authority (MAAIF) for animal health in the country is in control of types, quantities, quality and safety of animals,” the March 19, 2019 letter read in part.
Attempts to get comment from National Drug Authority (NDA) were futile. Mr David Nahamaya, the secretary to NDA said he was in meeting. The chairman board, Dr Medard Bitekyerezo did not answer our calls by press time.
However, in his previous media statement, Dr Medard Bitekyerezo said Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries cannot regulate animal drugs.
When Daily Monitor asked him why he thinks so, the NDA chairperson, in a telephone interview in August last year said: “Just refer to the NDA law.”