Livestock and Fisheries Minister Luhaga Mpina issued the warning yesterday here when he visited the Kizota cattle auction on the outskirts of Dodoma municipality.
He said during the last operation, which ended January 31, this year, there were unscrupulous officials who provided false information on the number of cattle which had been branded, whereby some reported that the exercise had succeeded by 96 per cent, which was at variance with the situation on the ground.
According to Mpina, ministry’s officials will be going to every district to thoroughly assess after the deadline of the ongoing operation on March 31, this year, warning that officials found to have cooked data would be severely punished.
He directed regional and district commissioners to ensure that all cattle were stamped before March 31, this year, as required by the law governing the sector.
Mpina said that according to data presented to the ministry until March 11, this year, 16,744,355 out of 17,390,090 cattle (equivalent to 96.3 per cent) had been branded, including 51,494 donkeys.
“But recently when I visited Pugu cattle auction in Dar es Salaam, I was shocked to see that branded cattle were below 5 per cent, and even at this Kizota Cattle Auction it is below 2 per cent,” the minister said, noting that the situation was contributed to by deceitful officials.
He said an assessment of the branding exercise carried out between December 2017 and March 11, this year showed that 85 district councils had branded cattle by 100 per cent; 86 councils by between 50per cent and 100 per cent, and four councils below 50 per cent.
He named the councils as Kasulu, Madaba, Arusha and Meru, whereby the rest were those with large numbers of dairy cattle, which will be fitted with special rings.
Such district councils include Ubungo, Temeke, Moshi, Kinondoni and Ilala. Others are Rungwe, Busokelo and Kibaha.
Since January 31, this year, the minister said, there was an increase of 14 councils which had branded cattle by 100 per cent and the number of councils which had done so by between 50 and 100 per cent has decreased to eight and even those which had reached below 50 per cent has reduced to 25 councils.
The minister elaborated that the ongoing animal branding was meant to identify all livestock in the country with a view to differentiating them from those from neighbouring countries.
He said the move was also meant to control the influx of cattle from outside the country, which had fuelled endless conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers.