No more abuse of animals in Nigeria — Buhari’s govt warns

President Muhammadu Buhari 

Nigeria now has a National Council on Animal Welfare, NCAW with the mandate to ensure that animals are treated humanely, responsibly and devoid of stress, hunger, anxiety and pain.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar, who formally inaugurated the Council in Abuja, charged members to ensure the regulation of animal welfare in Nigeria in line with global best practices.

Abubakar noted that the Nigeria Animal Welfare Strategy was developed and approved by the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development in 2016 and in furtherance of the implementation of the policy.

He added that the Ministry has stepped up efforts toward introducing global best practices in Nigeria’s Animal Welfare Strategy particularly for the livestock and poultry industry.

The Minister also said that to achieve the set objectives there was the need to commit resources and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to formulate a national standard for the use and care of animals.

He added that the inauguration of the council was apt and timely and would chart a new course for the implementation of animal welfare practices in Nigeria, noting that the NCAW would have both steering and technical committees.

Members of the steering committees would chair the various Animal Welfare Technical Working Groups under the leadership of Chief Veterinary Officer Nigeria and Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services.

He, therefore asked the Council to provide a clear roadmap that would ensure a successful implementation of Animal welfare policies and programmes for the country.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Adeleke Mamora, said there was the need for the two Ministries to work together to attain set goals of taking care of animals.

The Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Maimuna Habib, said the inauguration of the Council was aimed at formulating national standard for use and care of animals as well as implement policies on matters concerning the general care of animals in research, teaching and mandatory testing of products in Nigeria.

She added that the meeting would serve as medium for awareness creation and sensitisation of relevant stakeholders on good Animal Welfare practices noting that NCAW would operate committee system.

The Council members are drawn from the Military, Para-Military, Veterinary Teaching Hospitals, Deans of Faculties of Veterinary Institutes in Nigeria amongst others.

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