The Union of Veterinary Practitioners of Kenya (UVPK) has issued a statement expressing its concerns with Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah’s vision for the revival of the country’s economy, particularly the trade in wild animals products.

UVPK issued the statement on Friday expressing its shot at Wajackoyah’s assertions, terming them as worrying and impractical.

“The Union of Veterinary Practitioners of Kenya (UVPK) is perturbed at the level of political talk that is likely to cause harm to animals. Prof George Wajakoya assertion that it is possible for Kenyans to trade in Wildlife and Wildlife products is quite worrying and impractical,” the statement read.

The union noted Kenya is a member of the Convention also known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife (CITES).

“Kenya is a treaty member to the Washington Convention also known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife (CITES). CITES protects the survival of the species in the wild and regulates international trade in specimens of species of wildlife based on a system of permits and certificates issued under certain conditions. It covers export, re-export, import and landing from the high seas of live and dead animals their parts and derivatives. Trade in Hyena testicles and snakes is disallowed and a threat to the existence of the wild species,” UVPK said.

The union also said Wajackoyah’s proposal if he goes through with it could result in another pandemic through the spread of viruses, bacteria and parasites that may jump from the wild animals to humans.

“Furthermore, Prof Wajakoya’s proposal to trade in snakes and hyena testicles is a recipe for another pandemic owing to spill over of viruses, bacteria and parasites from hyenas and snakes in the wild to human beings. As you may be aware, the COVID-19 originated in Wuhan market in China as a result of trade in wildlife products,” the statement read in part.

“Kenyans should be prepared for a surge in zoonotic diseases such as Rabies, Brucellosis, Leptospirosis, Yersiniosis, Campylobacterosis, Salmonellosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Giardiasis. pathogenic E. coli, Toxoplasmosis and Echinococcosis among others should trade in Hyena products be legalized under Wajakoyas government.”

The union appealed to Wajackoyah to consult closely with veterinary professionals ahead of making any such proposals that may cause harm to the wild animals.

“We urge Prof Wajakoya to consult closely with the Veterinary Professionals before making proposals that are impractical, un-implementable and which may jeopardize the existence of our wild animals,” UVPK said.

Wajackoyah has been keen on exploring unconventional farming methods for export to generate income for the country. His ideas include snake farming, the export of dog meat and the export of hyena products.