Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has restated commitment to adopting global best practices in implementing Animal Welfare Strategy.
The Chief Director, Veterinary and Pest Control Services, of FMARD, Dr. Olaniran Alabi said for Nigeria to have access to the international market, it needs to prioritise the animals welfare.
Dr. Alabi, said; “It is very important to ensure that we have good animal welfare in our farms especially during husbandry, transportation, and slaughter… Good animal welfare practices which enhances the quality of animal products available for human consumption is a primary concern of the Department, and as such, the Ministry is stepping up efforts towards Introducing global best practices in implementing Nigeria’s Animal Welfare Strategy.”
He said the Nigeria Animal Welfare Strategy approved by the National Council on Agriculture in 2016 was in its implementation stage.
Dr Alabi said; “the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services has taken initial steps in the implementation of the strategy and is organising this awareness creation/sensitisation workshop for relevant stakeholders on good Animal welfare practices.
”The Strategy provides direction for development of action plans to implement existing World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines and standards; provides a roadmap for development of future animal policies.”
”In order to achieve the objectives of the Nigeria Animal Welfare Strategy in line with global best practices, the Ministry is committed to working with relevant stakeholders in this sector to promote efficiency and profitability of the livestock and poultry business in Nigeria’
“The National workshop today is a step in the right direction and is expected to go a long way in ensuring that safe, wholesome and affordable livestocks and poultry products are available for our local markets and possible export, “ Dr Alabi explained.
Dr. Olaniran Alabi was represented by the Assistant Director of Veterinary Services in Abuja, Dr. Mrs. Modupeola Ogunnoiki at the event.
The Commissioner for Agiculture, Lagos State, Mrs. Bisola Olusanya highlighted the importance of the workshop to the two new Animal laws in the State.
He said the workshop’s theme was coming at a crucial time when the Lagos State government has just signed the two crucial Bills into law.
“The Lagos State Animal Law 2022 and Lagos State Anti-grazing Law 2021 and care examination of the details of these two laws would reveal the importance of Animal Welfare in our daily activities.
“It is therefore pertinent to note that this workshop is well timed, apply themed and properly coincidental to align with existing realities on the field of practice,” Mrs Olusanya explained.
She was represented by the Director, Veterinary Services and Pest Control, Lagos state, Dr. Rasheed Macaulay.
On her part, the International Society for Applied Ethology Country Liaison for Nigeria, Dr. Mabel Ajumobi said there was need for consistent sensitisation of Nigerians and all stakeholders on good Animal Welfare practices.
Dr Ajumobi said; “For us to access international market, it is important that the welfare of the animal is taken into consideration because animal that do not enjoy good welfare cannot be traded in the international community.
“It is important, Nigeria wakes up to this responsibility to start ensuring that from husbandry to transportation to slaughter, we obey international regulations to ensure that our products are acceptable in the International market.”
Some participants at the workshop told Voice of Nigeria that the workshop has helped them to know more about Animal Welfare and new laws guiding it.
The Workshop with the theme ‘Relevance of Animal Welfare in Nigeria’ was organised by the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE).
The target was to raise awareness on global best practices in implementing Nigeria Animal Welfare Services.