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Professor Calls for New Animal Research Institutes

by 5m Editor
28 August 2009, at 8:31am

NIGERIA - The president of Nigerian Institute of Animal Science has called on the federal government to set up new institutes for poultry, pig and dairy research.

The president of Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, Professor Placid Njoku, has called on the federal government to establish four new specie-mandated livestock research institutes to cater for poultry, pigs, dairy and pastures.

AllAfrica reports that he made the statement yesterday at the National stakeholders' conference in Abuja, adding that the institute is aware of the enormity of its responsibilities as prescribed by the Act, and will pursue its mandate to the fullest to ensure the transformation of animal husbandry in Nigeria.

"Road haulage of livestock has been found to be inefficient, causes weight loss and reduces the tenderness of meat.

"Abbatoirs for meat processing and sales outlets in many states are in terrible states of disrepair and also very poor in this regard, I wish to enjoin all states to urgently review the prevailing livestock and meat handling practices and also promulgate laws to check abuses in order to protect the lives of citizens," Professor Njoku said.

He added that livestock has been growing at an average rate of 1.6 per cent in the last decade and has contributed 2.7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation, while Nigerians consume only about 10 grams of animal protein in a day as against the required 35 grams. This means that Nigerians need to triple their animal protein intake.

The Registrar of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), Dr Daniel Maddo, hinted that the quality of veterinary services of countries exporting animals and animal products is key to providing assurance to trading partners regarding the safety of exported commodities.

Dr Maddo affirmed that maximising the value chain in animal production and technology – the theme of the workshop – requires a multidisciplinary approach, according to the AllAfrica report. The World Trade Organisation's agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures – to which Nigeria is a signatory – allows for the protection of human, animal and plant populations from the vagaries of imported diseases through animals, plants and their products, using scientifically acceptable standards.