Expunging of Part XIV (Beekeeping and Bee Products) of the Livestock Bill 2021 in Kenya

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James Ndirangu started this petition to Members of National Assembly and Senate in Kenya

Kenya is revising its Livestock Laws through a bill that is streamlining and consolidating most of the relevant institutions under one law.

Unfortunately there's also an attempt to regulate the hitherto unregulated apiculture sector by inclusion of Part XIV (Beekeeping and Bee Products). The sad thing about what should otherwise be a welcome initiative, is that, there has bee no consultation or participation by bee keepers and other apiculture stakeholders on what areas need to be regulated. Not only has there been no consultations but the drafters have lazily copy and pasted the Ontario Bees Act who's context and suitability for the Kenyan context is totally wrong.

The proposed rules impose draconian restrictions on entry and retention of beekeepers into the sector that are not seen with any other livestock or even game rearing in Kenya. This is through ANNUAL registration of bee keeping initiatives and the land hosting hives as well as purporting to prescribe the "correct" hives in a sector awash with innovation ranging from the traditional African log hives to the latest Flow Hives.

This will adversely affect the poor, mostly rural youth and women who currently are the main stakeholders in the sector. It also exposes them to ruthless exploitation through corruption by proposed county apiary inspectors in a manner that no other group of livestock or agricultural producers faces. Kenya generally doesn't fare well in terms of corruption in the public sector and so these fears are not overrated.

Lastly the bills doesn't address any areas of support with technical expertise such as research, apiary management or other policy level guidelines to ensure a clear framework for donors, technical UN and NGO players to assist small scale apipreneurs. Rather it seems to prepare the ground for domination of a hitherto free market sector by well connected and monied cartels by criminalizing bee keeping as practiced today in Kenya by the poor and vulnerable citizens.

We need the help of everyone to have the cheeky provisions expunged and a true participatory and consultative legal regime discussed. 

Thanks

James (Small scale Kenyan Beekeeper with 11 active hives) 

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