MP counts huge losses after 24 cows die

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Some of the twenty-four heifers worth Sh2.5m belonging to Emurua-Dikir MP Johanna Ngeno. [Nikko Tanui/Standard]

Rift Valley
According to Olekisiara farm manager Frederick Mutai, the pedigree cattle started dropping dead one after another, minutes after feeding on the produc

Emurua-Dikir MP Johanna Ngeno is counting losses after his herd of 24 Holstein Friesian cattle worth Sh2.5 million died after feeding on a poisonous imported mineral product (name withheld).  

According to Olekisiara farm manager Frederick Mutai, the pedigree cattle started dropping dead one after another, minutes after feeding on the product. 
The product is imported from Ireland and available at local animal feeds stores. “The cows began shivering, foaming in the mouth and running wild before dropping dead, one after the other,” he said. 
Mutai added, “We immediately called a veterinary doctor who injected the animals in an effort to save them, but there was little he could do.” 
Information printed on the 20kg bags, states the product is complementary feeding material for ruminants. The batch of tens of bags bought by Ngeno has an expiry date of January 28, 2022. 
Luke Evans, another worker at the farm said since it was the first time for them to use the product, they consulted the supplier based in Nakuru before using it. 
“We keenly followed instructions given by the product supplier. He told us the ration for each cow is 200 grammes per day mixed with other general animal feeds. That is what exactly what we did,” he said. 
Mutai said they are convinced the product is to blame for the heifers’ deaths since cattle that did not feed on the minerals are unaffected. “There is no doubt the product is to blame for death of the cows,” he said. 
The lawmaker has challenged the Kenya Bureau of Standards to shield farmers from incurring huge losses like himself. “It is devastating for a farmer to lose even a single cow due to the failure by Kenya Bureau of Standards to block importation of poisonous cattle feeds and other products,” he said.

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