By Chioma Obinna
Social media platforms were awash with the video of a young Nigerian lady having sex with a dog. Since then there have been questions about the act which many have described as ‘unclean or taboo’.
Meanwhile, medical experts are warning that such act could spark off emerging or remerging infections in the country.
According to the experts who spoke with Sunday Vanguard, sex with animals is not only unclean but a potential source of health-related catastrophe.
Before the recent event, the prevalence of humans resorting to having carnal affairs including erotic sexual intercourse with animals such as sheep, cows and dogs has become worrisome. Not too long ago, there was a case of a video where a young man was seen having sex with a cow in a farm.
According to a former Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA, Dr. Alao Mobolaji, the lady’s indiscretion in the dog sex video may lead to an outbreak of infectious diseases of zoonotic origin.
Lamenting increasing sexual interaction between animals and human beings, he expressed worry that there is a strong likelihood that unknown diseases may begin to emerge.
Mobolaji, who is the National Treasurer, NVMA, regretted that, to date, the world is yet to ascertain where the Ebola virus emerged from and that of coronavirus, adding, “There are traces that they are from animals to humans and, because of that, we need to be very careful of this trend.” According to him, apart from the emergence of diseases, individuals can also contract zoonotic diseases that are transmitted from animal to human.
He regretted that Nigeria has no legislation prohibiting such act but said: “In animal law of Lagos State, there is no provision for such act.
“Recently Animal Bill was passed into law but it only addresses the management of animal data and keeping of dangerous animals around us, no part addresses sexual intercourse between animal and man.”
Also speaking to Sunday Vanguard, a researcher and public health scientist, Dr. Casmir Ifeanyi, who described the lady’s action as a shame, said zoonotic diseases are increasingly being incriminated at both epidemic and pandemic proportions.
Noting that concerns are rife and heightened as Nigerians are now apprehensive especially over the implications of the lady’s act in terms of emerging diseases and its spread among the population, he said: “A school of thought holds that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be traced to the mingling of humans and monkey.
“Of course, we are very conversant with the much dreaded monkey pox and Ebola –these are emerging fatal viral haemorrhagic fever diseases of animal origin afflicting humans today.
“Typically, sexually transmitted disease of animal origin has been documented to possibly infect and afflict humans who unwholesomely mingle with especially dogs.
“Canine brucellosis is an infectious and zoonotic disease caused by brucella canis which has been reported worldwide, and is a major public health concern due to close contact between dogs and humans.
“This abounds in the contaminated fluids such as semen, urine and vaginal secretions from infected dogs.
“In humans, the brucellosis disease is associated with a febrile syndrome, commonly with non-specific symptoms including splenomegaly, fatigue and weakness”.
Continuing, Ifeanyi, who is also a former National Publicity Secretary, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN, said the implications and the likelihood of common diseases associated with humans sleeping with animals including dogs, as shown in the viral video of the lady who claimed she slept with the dog and earned N1, 700,000, were very far.
“Though Nigerians are much more concerned about the emergence of infection and other public health-related challenges there are lots more associated with bestiality”, he stated.
“The psycho-social and emotional issues are also daunting. Animals don’t consent to sex with humans. An animal does not ‘kiss or tell’ their expectations in any given way. “So, what is the fascination? Is it just for money or is there some cultic undertone?”
Querying why people desire and consummate sex with animals, he lamented that such ugly indulgence continues to gain ground amongst young people, hence the need Nigerians should begin to consider whether the increased focus on sexual attention and activity might be due to sexual abuse earlier in life or outright mental derangement.
“Sex with animals is not only unclean but a potential source of health-related catastrophe and even death”, the expert said.
“Some years ago, an expatriate at a construction giant in Life Camp, Abuja allegedly played host to a young lady and paid her handsomely to entertain him by having sex with his foreign bred dog. “Shortly after the escapade, the lady in question died in her suburb residence in Karmo.
“According to medical and veterinary literature, a number of animal diseases are transmissible to humans and these are termed zoonotic diseases”.
On animals impregnating humans, Ifeanyi said it was not possible due to the differential in the number of chromosomes and differences in the key genes on different chromosomes.
“So it would be very difficult to get the genetic material in sperm to match up with that in a human egg”, he said.
“The foregoing is more theoretical than the reality. Sex with animals such as dogs has been fingered as the cause for the birth of some monster-like beings in the past.
“It is widely believed that human-animal intercourse can in some cases lead to such humanoid cattle offspring.
“Although it is scientifically controversial, human sperm can impregnate animals, especially within the very few species that can interbreed, there are not enough reasons to have sex with animals.”
According to him, the absence of sanctions for such beastly behaviour in our laws can be largely blamed for the rising indulgence in bestiality among young Nigerians.
“Government at all levels and our different religious authorities must step up action and activities that will help stem this new wave of absurdity in our society, “he stated.
Ifeanyi regretted that it was appalling that the absurdity is fast becoming entrenched in a highly religious country like Nigeria.
The expert, who noted that the bestiality was adjudged as taboo and/or illegal sexual contact activity in many climes, said the challenge remains the apparent dearth of the legal framework in most places including Nigeria to help curb such societal ill.
“Regrettably, neither the Nigerian government nor the various lofty religious institutions are yet to take drastic steps to curtail this ugly menace”, Ifeanyi stated.
According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, zoonosis is an infectious disease that has jumped from a non-human animal to humans.
Zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents and can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water or the environment.
They represent a major public health problem around the world due to our close relationship with animals in agriculture, as companions and in the natural environment. The WHO report also states that Zoonoses comprise a large percentage of all newly identified infectious diseases as well as many existing ones. Some diseases, such as HIV, began as zoonosis but later mutated into human-only strains. Other zoonoses can cause recurring disease outbreaks such as Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis. Still others, such as the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have the potential to cause global pandemics.