Animal scientists and veterinary doctors have called on the federal government to overhaul the various abattoirs across the country to prevent the consumption of unhealthy meat.
The experts gave the charges during a two-day summit by Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ACAN) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in Abuja recently.
While urging the government to develop a database of abattoirs and slaughter slabs nationwide, the experts called for proper monitoring and delivery of healthy meats to Nigerians.
From animal identification to husbandry, slaughtering, processing and transportation to final consumers, the concerned professionals asked the FG to swiftly engage relevant experts including veterinary doctors, animal health workers that would ensure sanity in the system.
They noted that unhealthy practices continues to hamper the development of the livestock sector.
“We need to ensure all beef that goes into food chain are fit for consumption and there is need for database of all livestock markets, abattoirs and slaughter slabs in Nigeria,” Azeez Adedayo, an expert from the Institute for Agricultural Research and Training stated.
Other participants also called for database of beef cattle farmers in Nigeria
and the “conservation of indigenous breed like muturu and others.”
They called for a platform to link producers, processors and marketers in the beef value chain.
They urged FMARD to extend capacity building of abattoir operators to modern meat processing techniques to other states so that salary earners can venture into livestock cooperative farming as an alternative source of generating income.
Actors from the private sector were encouraged to invest in meat processing facilities.
A veterinary doctor Dambo Mohammed said animals meant for distribution as a form of supports or empowerment should be certified healthy from the market before purchase.
The meeting also served as a platform to discuss issues and misconceptions around the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).
Earlier, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mohammed Mahmood urged participants to make implementable recommendations that would promote successful execution of the NLTP.
The National Executive Council (NEC) under leadership of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo initiated the plan with inputs from the State Governors and other stakeholders to address the herders–farmers crises in the country.
Selected states such as Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna are already in the pilot stage of the initiative.
About N100 billion has been approved as required to execute the national livestock plan and part of the funding would be sourced from the private sector, it was gathered.