Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) has issued a 60-day ultimatum to all unregistered and illegal veterinary outfits in the country to register with their various state committees or face full wrath of the law.
The council, as part of its efforts to regulate veterinary services in the country, has inaugurated the Veterinary Practice Premises Committee (VPPC), Lagos, Oyo and Ogun after it flagged off the national process.
Speaking during inauguration of the Lagos State Committee, VCN president, Dr Aishatu Abubakar Baju, said one of the ways through which the council carries out its regulatory function is by making sure all veterinary practice premises are duly registered and maintain minimum standard of practice that would ensure delivery of quality services to the populace.
She said the committees are empowered to register, profile and regulate all veterinary premises across the state, adding that the council was in the process of digitalising and geo-mapping all veterinary practices across the country.
Baju noted, “Lagos State is very strategic in the livestock industry in Nigeria as it holds the highest number of private veterinary premises and related industries. As a result, the provision of veterinary services to these industries needs to be properly regulated to ensure that they receive the best veterinary and other animal healthcare services.”
She said by law, each state should have an effective VPPC, which is saddled with responsibility of regulating operations of the veterinary premises and the practitioners at the state level on behalf of the VCN, while calling on the state government to support the committee for the benefit of the state and entire country.
“I have been reliably informed of the massive support that the livestock industry, including veterinary services has been receiving from government of Lagos State over the years and this is very commendable.
Having said the above, it is also pertinent to observe some gaps that need to be addressed for better veterinary services delivery. These include, but not limited to: inadequate human resources in the state veterinary services. Currently, Lagos State has in its employ, a total of 25 veterinarians and 13 veterinary paraprofessionals and I have been reliably informed of the approval of his Excellency, the governor of the State for the employment of additional 20 veterinarians and 10 veterinary paraprofessionals.
“This is highly commendable given the current economic situation of the country. Having said the above, I wish to inform his Excellency, the governor through the commissioner of Agriculture that this is still inadequate to cover the 20 LGAs and 37 local council development authorities (LCDAs) in Lagos.
“Inadequacy in the number of veterinary clinics outside the state capital. At least each LGA should have a government-owned veterinary clinic to avert high risk of transmission of Zoonotic Disease from poorly regulated abattoirs and slaughter slabs. The international best practice mandates the veterinarian to certify all food of animal origin meant for human consumption for assurance of food safety and security.
“The records at our disposal indicate that about 9000 herds of cattle are slaughtered in Lagos for human consumption daily. This is huge – It is important for the safety of the human populace in Lagos that these animals are properly inspected to assure their safety and wholesomeness for consumption,” Baju said.