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VCN to promote animal health for food safety

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria's veterinary hygiene will be promoted while protecting public health.

The Veterinary Council of Nigeria, VCN, has revealed that it will improve the well-being of animals, ensure high standards of food safety, and streamline the trade of animals and animal products. During a consultative stakeholder meeting on the sanitary mandate in Abuja, Dr. Columba Vakuru, the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, discussed the importance of the council in improving animal health care services and emphasised its role in transforming the delivery of such services. However, he aims to improve veterinary hygiene in Nigeria, creating a future where animals flourish, communities thrive, and public health is protected.

He articulated that the sanitation mandate outlined its goals, aims, and tactics to safeguard the well-being of both animals and humans. The main objective is to ensure the welfare of animals while also securing food sources, resulting in better public health outcomes. Members were encouraged by the veterinary director to participate actively in the conversations, communicate their ideas effectively, and understand that their contributions will influence the trajectory of veterinary services in Nigeria. He added that it was important for members to reiterate their dedication to superior performance, creativity, and collaboration.

PPP will unite the sectors for ongoing vaccinations in Nigeria

Dr. Mustapha Mohammed, the Animal Component Officer, emphasised the significant impact of Transboundary Animal Diseases on the sub-region, highlighting their role as a major factor contributing to decreased productivity and increased mortality within the livestock industry. He mentioned that the Federal Government Preparation Team and other experts considered these threats during the development of the L-PRES project. His main emphasis was on the project’s goal of preventing, controlling, and potentially eliminating four essential diseases in the animal health component that can spread across borders. Dr. Adiya Ode, the Country Representative of Propcom+, emphasised the importance of strong Public-Private Partnerships in establishing regular livestock vaccinations at all levels of government.

This collaboration will help reduce annual financial losses associated with vaccinations. Ode said that the PPP aims to unite public and private sector professionals in animal health to ensure ongoing animal health vaccination services in Nigeria. She said this would spark further PPP collaborations in livestock disease management and prevention. Propcom+ aims to enhance the distribution of animal health vaccines by expanding the network of community animal health workers and veterinary paraprofessionals. Ode mentioned that PPP had undergone testing in different parts of Nigeria, emphasising the importance of a comprehensive PPP framework for the success of the models.

Productivity and efficiency of the agricultural sector will be enhanced.

Promoting the health of animals in Nigeria is crucial for maintaining food security and ensuring a sustainable source of nutrition for the population. Healthy animals provide essential products like meat, milk, and eggs and contribute to the overall well-being of communities. Investing in animal health, Nigeria can also mitigate the risk of zoonotic diseases, which can have severe consequences for humans and animals. Additionally, a focus on the subject can enhance the productivity and efficiency of the agricultural sector, leading to increased yields, improved livelihoods, and economic development in the country.

In Nigeria, the health of animals can be controlled through educational initiatives, veterinary interventions, and government policies. Providing training and education to farmers on proper animal husbandry practices and disease prevention measures can help reduce the prevalence of illnesses among livestock. Increasing access to veterinary services and vaccines in rural areas can ensure that animals receive timely and appropriate care. Additionally, enforcing regulations and standards for animal welfare can help prevent the spread of diseases and improve the overall health of livestock.

Related Article: FG to invest N2.5tr to boost livestock sector

Lastly, to promote animal health in a country like Nigeria, stakeholders must work together to address the agricultural sector’s complex challenges. This can be achieved through collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organisations, veterinary professionals, and farmers. Nigeria can create a healthier and more resilient livestock industry by investing in research and innovation, developing sustainable agricultural practices, and promoting animal welfare. Ultimately, prioritising animal health can lead to improved food security, public health, and economic prosperity for the country as a whole.

Related Link

VCN: Website

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