FG moves to develop response strategy for animals during emergencies
Amidst concerted efforts to ensure safety of livestock during disaster, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has taken steps to develop emergency response strategy for animals.
The move, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, is against the backdrop of the need to pay attention to welfare of animals, which are mostly victims during disaster situations, but suffer in silence.
The Director of Veterinary and Pests Control Services/Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Musa Inuwa, who disclosed this while speaking at a stakeholders consultative workshop on animal welfare held in Nasarawa State, said the essence of the workshop, was to provide a platform for effective engagement and interaction among relevant stakeholders on implementing policies on matters concerning the general care of animals during emergencies and disaster situations.
He added that the meeting would also serve as a medium for awareness creation on good animal welfare practices.
Inuwa pointed out that 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 Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).
He, therefore, 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), Department of Veterinary & Pest Control Services, Dr. Abdulkareem Durosinlorun, said 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 said the meeting was of great importance, noting that when there are disasters, only humans are rescued without taking cognizance of the animals.
She pointed out 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 (NEMA) plans and having veterinaries that are trained on ‘rescue’.
The National President called on the Federal Government to set up committees that would involve veterinarians and animal health components in the rescue and emergencies.
Highlight of the event was the interactive session by participants.