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Veterinary doctors renew drive to tackle quackery

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
08 May 2022   |   4:00 am
Veterinary experts have expressed renewed drive to tackle the challenge of quackery bedeviling the industry, describing it as an albatross that has caused financial losses and integrity damage to the profession.

Veterinary experts have expressed renewed drive to tackle the challenge of quackery bedeviling the industry, describing it as an albatross that has caused financial losses and integrity damage to the profession.

While speaking at an event to mark this year’s World Veterinary Day with the theme, with the theme, “Strengthening Veterinary Resilience,” in Ikeja, Lagos State, the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), Dr. Olufemi Aroso, said that the activities of non-professionals who engage in impersonating veterinarians have become a threat to the practice.
  
“We are already addressing quackery in several ways, one is the premise registration of practitioners. The other way is the introduction of harmonised identity card for veterinarians, which will have security codes to show the practitioner’s practicing number, name, state, institution, and others.
 


The President of the Small Animal Veterinary Association of Nigeria (SAVAN), Dr. Kunle Abiade, who described quackery as a serious albatross, said some people are fond of pretending to be what they are not, impersonating veterinarians and in the process damaging the integrity of the profession.
 
“They pretend to be veterinarians, causing economic losses to clients. To us as practitioners, this is a very bad issue because it destroys the image of the profession, and casts aspersions on our integrity. It has been causing a lot of damage, and a lot of integrity loss to our profession, and to animal owners, and we think it should stop,” Abiade who doubles as the CEO of Petcare Animal Hospital said.  

“We are advising pet owners to always seek clarifications before engaging the services of vet doctors. Nigerians should be more enlightened to seek quality services,” he added.
 
On his part, the Director of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Lagos State, Dr. Rasheed Molade Macaulay, said that in line with the theme, veterinarians have successfully surmounted challenges in the practice due to their training, which is hinged on endurance. 

Macaulay said: “One of the challenges facing this profession is quackery. Currently, all farmers are vets; they treat their livestock, especially poultry, without seeking professional advice. It is when the problem has gone out of hand that they turn vet doctors into magicians and that’s what is called resilience while winning them over.”

He noted that the rising cases of animal diseases are not mainly caused by climate change as postulated in many quarters, but mainly through the mobility of people and the closeness of animals to humans.

“Before now, the habitats of the animals were far from us, but now, animals are closer, some people are using rabbits as pets; some are using monkeys as pets. Before, monkeys were in the wild, but now that they are getting closer to people. 

“Due to urbanisation and development, people are moving closer to the wild, destroying animals’ habitats, and the animals are fighting back. If you go to a place like Iyana-Oworo now, you’ll hear that monkeys are coming into their houses, kitchens, and eating their foods because people are already moving into animals’ habitats without considering the eco-system. So, its not really about climate change, even though climate change plays a role.”