The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) has said there is need to amend some Laws which bothers on livestocks in order to find lasting solution to the continued farmers and herdsmen clashes in the country.
Speaking during the 2018 World Veterinary Day Celebration, the Chairman of NVMA FCT chapter, Dr Bala Muhammed, said that the bills seeking the amendment of these outdated laws are currently before the National Assembly waiting for attention.
His words: “We have actually taken the right steps in making sure that this laws are amended, the laws are actually old and some of the laws are above 30 years, and the situation then and now are totally different.
“So we have these laws particularly the Veterinary Teaching Hospital bill, the Veterinary surgeon Act and the Animal Disease Act, waiting in the National Assembly to receive their attention, I think the make amendment to some of these laws, we will be able to have a big intent in making sure we resolve this farmers/herders clashes”.
INEC and election reordering bill
When asked how the veterinarians would assist in ending the farmers/Herdes clashes, Dr Muhammed said “Technically, we allow the political leadership to do the right diagnosis of the situation on ground, but as professionals, it is for us to look out for the right husbandry system that will suit different regions in our country. Ours is a very big economy, when you look at the size of our country you will find out that what is obtained in the south may not be right for the north, we have to go back to the drawing table in asking sure that we advice the politicians on the best way in resolving this challenges”.
Commenting on the Celebration with the theme ‘The role of Veterinary profession in sustainable development to improve livelihoods, food security and safety’, he said “It is a way if stimulating the professionals in proffering solutions to unemployment, food security and safety and job creation we believe it’s central to the kind of work we do in terms of agriculture, so the theme this year is for us to refocus our attention in making sure that we deliver on this mandate to humanity”.
Also speaking, Former veterinary officer of Nigeria and currently the Consultant to FAO on animal disease, Dr Junaidu Maina, said veterinarians have a significant role to play in resolving the farmers/herders clashes.
According to him “Veterinarians have always have special relationship with animal owners, in this particular case, pastoralists because of the nature of the structure of our Agriculture, we have have had a very long historical relationship and they trust us, we have succeeded in eradicating some of the major diseases, we have succeeded in giving healthcare to them and their families, so they have that trust in us.
“The point am making is that if we come in, technically and discuss with them, point out some of the causes, especially issues of transhumance, issues of destroying properties, I think we will be able to find the solution because the bottom line is the issue of nutrition of the animal, so we have challenges and there are technical solutions to some of these, so that we as trained personnel can advice clients in the most efficient way to handle their animals so that we don’t continue with this problems we have currently”.