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Vet doctors want ministry for animals

By Emma Arubi
WARRI — THE Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA, has called on Delta State Government to separate animal health and livestock production from the Ministry of Agriculture.

They want a full-fledged ministry created, as statistics have shown that most diseases suffered by man are generated by animals.

Chairman of Delta State chapter of the association,  Dr. Gani Enahoro, who made the call, also urged the government to employ more veterinarians in the state.

Speaking in Warri on the occasion of the 2010 World Veterinary Day, with the theme, One World, One Health: One Cooperation Between Veterinarians and Physicians, Dr. Enahoro held that more veterinarians were needed in the state to cope with modern days challenges.

He said, “It is common knowledge that all drugs are made from herbs, but what is not usually advertised is the fact that drugs are only administered on man, either as tablets, syrups, capsules and injectables after they have been serially tested in animals for effectiveness, dosage, choice of useful antidotes in case of severe untoward reactions.

“Of course, only veterinarians are trained to take animals through these challenges.  But in recent years, the world has suddenly woken up to the reality that more cooperation is required between veterinarians and human medical practitioners.

“The reason is not far-fetched.   Modern statistics have revealed that 60% of known infectious diseases are common to man and animals. 75% of recent emerging human diseases came from animals. It is also known that human populations need a regular diet of proteins and veterinarians play a very key role in ensuring this.

“In many parts of the world today, health commissions are been established in order for the society to benefit from the healthy cooperation of veterinary and medical knowledge. We, hereby, call on Delta State government to blaze the trail in Nigeria by establishing such commission immediately.

“We also call on the state government to join the increasing league of states in Nigeria, establishing a separate Ministry of Animal Health and Livestock production rather than merge with agriculture”.

“The NVMA Delta State appreciates the many abattoirs constructed within the state; we hereby call for more and request that more veterinarians are employed to carry out meat inspection and other services in these abattoirs.

“The wholesomeness of meat does not rest squarely on the presence or absence of contamination by germs alone. We now discover that most meat, especially poultry meat, contain a lot of drug residue as meat contamination, from the inappropriate practices of most poultry farmers who do not have veterinarians as consultants to their farms.

“They administer drugs to their livestock until the day of slaughter as against best practices by veterinarians who understand the principle of withdrawal periods when drugs must not be used before slaughtering to avoid passage of drug residue to man through eating of such meat.”


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