The Federal Government says it is stepping up efforts aimed at adopting global best practices in Nigeria’s Animal Welfare Strategy.
Dr Musa Inuwa, the Overseeing Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, (FMARD), stated this on Thursday in Abuja, at the National stakeholders Consultative Meeting, on Animal Welfare During Emergencies and Disasters in Nigeria.
The meeting was organised by FMARD, in conjunction with F&A Engineering Construction Links Limited, Abuja.
Inuwa, who is also the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria (CVON), said the efforts were in line with guidelines and standards provided by World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).
“The essence of the meeting was to provide a platform for effective engagement and interaction among relevant stakeholders on implementing policies on matters concerning the general care of animals in production, processing, transportation, research and games during emergency and disaster situations in Nigeria,” he said.
Inuwa said the meeting would serve as a medium for awareness creation among relevant stakeholders on good animal welfare practices, “especially in emergency and disaster situations.”
He said the National Animal Welfare Strategy for Nigeria, was approved by the National Council on Agriculture in 2016.
“This was followed by the inauguration of the National council on Animal Welfare by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Aug. 4, 2022,” he said.
`Inuwa urged the stakeholders to serve as credible animal welfare ambassadors within their scope of activities.
In a presentation, Dr Umakaltume Abubakar, Deputy Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest and Control Services of the ministry, said Animal welfare (AW) is the physical and mental state of an animal in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies.
Abubakar explained that an animal could be said to experience good welfare if it was healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, free from pain, as well as fear and distress.
“As well as being able to express behaviours that are important for its physical and mental state,” she said.
She further listed other good animal welfare strategies to include disease prevention and appropriate veterinary care, shelter, management and nutrition, safe environment, and humane handling, among others.