Dr Richard K Ssuna: In His Own Words
Wildlife and Domestic Animal Vet, Conservationist, Animal Advocate
Bio: Dr Richard K. Ssuna
Dr Richard K. Ssuna has been caring for (wild and domesticated) animals as a Veterinarian for over 20 years. In the past he’s worked for the Uganda Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (USPCA), the Jane Goodall Institute and Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Wildlife Conservation Trust on Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre. Dr Ssuna also established the Lilongwe Society and Protection of Animals (LSPCA) and also worked as the technical advisor for the Second Chance Chimpanzee Refuge in Liberia. He is currently the Director of All Creatures Animal Welfare Trust in Malawi, Lesotho and Uganda.
Over the years, Dr Ssuna has received many awards for animal welfare, and veterinary practice including:
- The William Wilberforce Award in 2012.
- The Africa Animal Advocate Award by Humane Society International (HSI) in 2014.
- Special Recognition for Outstanding Leadership for Ngamba Island in 2018.
- World Animal Day Ambassador for Malawi.
Along with a veterinary degree, Dr Ssuna holds a Masters of Science in Wild Animal Health (Royal Veterinary College, University of London) and a Masters of International Animal Welfare Ethics & Law (Royal School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh).
Dr Ssuna is an absolute inspiration to animal lovers and conservationists all over the world. It is an honour to showcase his work and stories on Palm Oil Detectives.
Respected #wildlife and #pet #vet @RichardSsuna talks about @africacreatures saving #animals in #Uganda #Lesotho #Malawi and also #palmoil #landgrabbing #animalrights and the #Boycott4Wildlife #AfricaTweet
The beauty with being a wildlife-vet, is that you get to treat all sorts of animals
I used to be the Field Programs Officer and Veterinarian for the Jane Goodall Institute
All Creatures was initially set up in Lilongwe in Malawi in 2016, we now have new sites in Lesotho and Uganda
We specialise in:
Mass rabies vaccinations: Rabies is a critical public health concern in Africa and has severe animal welfare and human health consequences.
Animal kindness education: We teach in schools and communities about the connection between animal welfare, environmental protection and human wellbeing.
Community Veterinary Services: Our free vet services including spaying and neutering, surgery and wildlife interventions.
Saving animals from disasters: Animals are often forgotten in natural disasters and pandemics and we are well equipped to save distressed and abandoned animals.
Animal Rescue Centre: We have a shelter in Lilongwe and care for abandoned and neglected dogs and other animals.
“We have successfully vaccinated 75% of all dogs against rabies in Mzuzu, and vaccinated and sterilised more than 80% dogs in Chintenche, Northern Malawi.”
“We have rescued and treated many different species wildlife, for example: Vervet Monkeys, Bush Babies, Common Duikers and Olive Baboons.”
All Creatures Animal Welfare Trust was set up to care not only for domestic pets, but wildlife too…
This has unfortunately been difficult to implement due to funding and the insurmountable challenges of animal welfare issues for domestic animals. You can help us to help more animals by donating…
Photo by Dalida Innes Wildlife Photography
I helped to rescue baby chimps who have lost their mothers to traps laid by cocoa farmers in Kitooba
Indiscriminate traps were usually intended for bush pigs and yellow baboons and laid by local farmers. They are a common affliction to wild chimp populations in West Uganda. The chimps use private forest patches as movement corridors to access their natural habitats. This below was Masindi, 20 years ago!
The other culprit was British American Tobacco
They invested heavily in communities and tobacco farmers planted on deforested forest patches! Both activities adversely affected chimps, as their travel routes through community forests were cut off and some small unviable groups were isolated in small forest fragments.
Let me tell you about what happened with palm oil on the richly forested Kalangala Islands, Uganda
“Foreign company Wilmar [an RSPO member] claimed the land for palm oil. The local inhabitants of the island suffered from the brute destruction of the island’s forests and their loss of livelihood and food sources.
“This can easily be extrapolated to inform similar misdeeds elsewhere on the African continent. This also affected peoples livelihoods and many of these people became landless.”
“The Kalangala Islands are a renowned birders destination. Now, with forest destruction, this pristine bird-haven has been adversely affected and destabilised. All in the interest of a few greedy businessmen!’
~ Dr Richard Ssuna
The global impact of palm oil on various facets of our lives is immoral
Palm oil is driven primarily by greed and profit at the expense of both mankind, the animal kingdom and our planet.
Before the bulldozers came, Magdalena Nakamya harvested coffee, cassava, avocado and jackfruit on her three-hectare (seven-acre) plot on Kalangala, an island in Lake Victoria.
But on a July morning in 2011, Nakamya, 64, awoke to find yellow machines churning up her land and razing the crops she had grown in a bid to make way for palm oil plantations.
“No one came to talk to me before they destroyed my crops,” says Nakamya. “I heard that some people were given money, but I didn’t receive anything.”
Read more: The Guardian UK
In my view all or most product certifications especially whose operations adversely affect people, are designed to cover-up an already messed-up palm oil industry.Dr Richard Ssuna
“In my view product certifications like @RSPOtweets when their operations adversely affect people, they are designed to cover-up an already messed-up industry.” #Wildlife #vet @RichardSsuna #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4WildlifeTweet
I think the real hope sits with governments
The political will of governments – provided they are not compromised by kickbacks or other financial interests from global brands, provides the best opportunity to address this problem of deforestation for food, at least on a national level.
The public has been hoodwinked into believing that @RSPOtweets #palmoil #certification equates to a sustainable product and as result, companies fetch even more cash for it” #Wildlife #vet @RichardSsuna #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4WildlifeTweet
In ten years there will be no more African animals. All gone. Extinct. The window for transformation of our food system is closing rapidly!
4 things consumers can do to stop deforestation for food ingredients…
1. Raise awareness of brands that are using greenwashing to sell products and are destroying the environment and causing tropical deforestation or emptying our oceans.
3. Publicly condemn these brands causing deforestation, whenever and wherever there is a platform, with family and friends and even on social media.
4. Make reference to this issue and to the #Boycott4Wildlife movement, whenever any adverse climatic changes are suffered as a result of deforestation for food.