By Stella Omona
As parts of efforts to boost national food security and wealth creation, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with F & A Engineering Construction Links Limited has organised a national stakeholders consultative meeting to stimulate the interest of stakeholders on the need to embrace animal welfare during emergencies and disasters in Nigeria, to prevent losses.
The Director Veterinary and Pests Control Services/ Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria (CVON) Dr. Musa Inuwa said that the essence was to provide a platform for effective engagement and interaction among relevant stakeholders on the implementing policies on matters concerning the general care of animals during emergencies and disaster situations.
At the event which held in Nasarawa State, Inuwa added that the meeting would also serve as a medium for awareness creation on good animal welfare practices.
According to him, the ministry had stepped up efforts towards introducing global best practices in the Nigeria’s animal welfare strategy in line with guidelines and standards provided by World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).
He tasked the stakeholders to share their experiences and in turn serve as credible animal welfare ambassadors within the spheres of their activities.
Earlier, the Head of Quality Assurance and Standards Division (QAS) of the Department of Veterinary & Pest Control Services, Dr. Abdulkareem Durosinlorun said that the department identified the need to develop a response strategy for animals during emergencies and disasters.
In her remarks, the National President of the Nigerian Veterinary Association, Dr. Oluwatoyin Adetuberu revealed that the meeting was of great importance, noting that when there are disasters, only humans are rescued without taking cognizance of the animals.
She is stressed that the meeting was about rescuing and rehabilitating animals during disasters and emergencies, setting ways to include the animals into the National Emergency Management Agency and having Veterinaries that are trained on ‘rescue’.
He called on the Federal Government to set up committees that would involve Veterinarians and Animal Health components in the rescue and emergencies.