By Chioma Obinna
Stakeholders in the food sector have called for safer food for animals as the well being of man depends directly on animal health and the environment.
The stakeholders noted that animals raised in confinement and fed defined feeds containing ingredients ranging from rendered animal products and animal waste to antibiotics could expose consumers to unacceptable risks from the specific plant and animal disease agents as well as other food contaminants.
In her submission during a Risk Assessment in Feed Productions jointly organised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, NIAS, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye urged farmers to be more cautious on the quality of inputs used on their farm animals as whatever is fed to farm animals will eventually enter the food chain.
Represented by her Senior Assistant, Mr Williams Effiong, Adeyeye said: “The emerging trend of events in global food safety has revealed that the safety and well being of man directly depends on the animal health and environment. In order to effectively achieve this height, a multi-disciplinary approach is the only left alternative which must be effectively explored as soon as possible. We are yet to explore the livestock sector of international trade.
Adeyeye stated that the workshop was strictly designed to achieve feed safety in Nigeria.
“The objective of this workshop is to achieve a safer food of animal origin for our citizen amidst other benefits such as domestic and international trade, safer environment and a sound well being of our livestock. The emerging trend of events in global food safety has revealed that the safety and well being of man directly depends on the animal health and environment,” she stated.
Further, he disclosed that NAFDAC is weighing the option of HACCP within the next one year to achieve a safer feed for safer food in Nigeria.
Giving the growth situation of feed in Nigeria, the Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, NIAS, Prof E.A. Iyayi noted that feed production was increasing globally and in almost all the Regions, adding that Nigerian feed production has in parallel witnessed growth.
According to him, “Demand for feed has been largely due to growth in poultry in most regions and ruminant in addition in some other regions. Population increase has driven demand for more animal products (as more people move into the middle-class bracket) and by implication demand for more animal feeds. This trend will continue in the foreseeable future as the Nigerian population will be about 470 million by the year 2050,” he explained.
Iyayi said as demand for feed increases the likelihood of sharp practices in deviation from best practices will be on the rise, hence the need to mitigate risk for safer feed production.
Speaking the Director, Veterinary Medicine and Allied products Directorate, Dr Buka Ali Usman, said there was a need to ensure the safety and security of the food chain which starts from the safety and security of feed being fed to animals.
Usman said the illegal production, distribution and marketing of animal feeds and feed addictive both local and imported must be checked by creating adequate awareness of the risks to consumers arising from long term exposure to how levels of contaminants in food of animals origin obtained from animals that are poorly kept or fed poor quality.
“The production of safe feed and food requires the effective surveillance and continuous monitoring of all steps along the production chain taking good cognisance of the systems used in the production, distribution and storage of the materials. Ability to identify all materials from source to the point of use, carefully eliminating unwanted materials is one of the essences of this workshop,” Usman added.