A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Garba Datti Mohammed (APC, Kaduna) has canvassed for legislations by African countries that will promote the welfare of animals on the continent.
Mohammed, however, expressed regret that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) did not make any provision for animal protection and welfare inspite of the importance of not animal to human existence.
The lawmaker, while speaking at the ongoing virtual conference of the Africa Animal Welfare Association in Nairobi, Kenya but monitored in Abuja, said “the time has come for change and for the realisation, in welfare and conservation terms that we serve our people best when we serve our animals.
“This being the case, the time has come for politicians like me, in our various capacities as law and policymakers and implementers to drive reforms in the way we treat animals through local, national and regional legislation.
“Indeed, you will recall that the donkey had been subjected to unprecedented trauma until we summoned the vision, courage and resolve to sponsor legislation to bring an end to it. Today the official policy of the Nigerian federal government is that the killing of donkey ad the donkey skin trade is banned, while the bill itself is on the verge of being passed by the National Assembly.
“The lessons to be taken away from such proactive initiatives are self-evident. Thus, a first step towards preserving our animals would be to send the communiqué at the end of this conference to ALL governments and parliaments are Africa to exhort them to action. I will cast my vote of support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) as well as a follow up the broad international convention.”
He further noted that civil society organisations must also be broadened their role in protecting animals on the continent. Adding that “the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) has been at the forefront of efforts to sensitise and inspire our continent about the importance and plight of animals in Africa. Sadly, few others have taken up this responsibility of creating a synergy of purpose and action between governments and the people as well as peaceful and mutual coexistence between animals.”