Dr. Calvin Solomon Onyango
Project Manager Kenya
Growing up surrounded by animals, Dr. Calvin Solomon Onyango developed a passion for them in his early years. After having been a veterinary surgeon for 20 years, he became the East Africa Representative for the VETS UNITED programme and Project Manager of his homeland Kenya in 2019.
WTG: How would you describe the animal welfare situation in the country?
SO: The animal welfare movement in Kenya has achieved quite a lot of success. This was made possible through different approaches: education and sensitisation of farmers, training and education of professionals, and advocacy to improve the animal welfare legislation and to include animal welfare in the training curriculum. Nevertheless, I see major challenges due to poor practices applied by both farmers and professionals in handling and care of animals. Besides, the resources used for animal welfare education by training institutions is very limited, and the enforcement of existing animal welfare law remains insufficient.
WTG: Where do you see the biggest challenges in your work as VETS UNITED Project Manager?
SO: Through the VETS UNITED programme we have been able to create awareness of the necessity of treating animals in a better way. Now, the big challenge is to make the people put the acquired knowledge about animal welfare into action. However, it is important to note that the VETS UNITED project is still very new. Thus, it will take time to consolidate the changes.
WTG: What are your hopes for the animal health and welfare situation in the country in 5 to 10 years?
SO: In 5 to 10 years, I hope to see a country in which the professionals provide good animal welfare services and advice to farmers so that they treat their animals in a better way. This would finally lead to an improved state of animal welfare. I hope to contribute to achieving this dream by training the professionals which I really enjoy.