Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
A member of the House of Representatives,Garba Datti Mohammed, has canvassed for legislations by African countries that will promote the welfare of animals on the continent.
Mohammed, who was speaking at the ongoing virtual conference of the Africa Animal Welfare Association in Nairobi, Kenya and monitored in Abuja, said it is regrettable that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) did not make any provision for animal protection and welfare inspite of the importance of animals to human existence.
The lawmaker noted that it is time for African countries to realise that they start to benefit more, when animals are protected.
According to him, “This being the case, the time has come for politicians like me, in our various capacities as law and policy makers and implementers to drive reforms in the way we treat animals through local, national and regional legislations.
“Indeed, you will recall that the donkey had been subjected to unprecedented trauma until we summoned the vision, courage and resolve to sponsor legislations to bring an end to it. Today the official policy of Nigerian federal Government is that the killing of donkey ad the donkey skin trade are 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 communique 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 broad international convention.”
Mohammed also charged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to broadened their role in protecting animals on the continent.
He added 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 synergy of purpose and action between governments and the people as well as peaceful and mutual coexistence between animals”.