By Omolola Pedro
An appeal has been made to the Federal Government to support veterinary doctors in their efforts to control Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs). This call was made by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Musa Mohammed, on behalf of all veterinary doctors in the country. Mohammed, while giving the charge during an interview session with journalists in Abuja, said TADs are highly contagious diseases that had the potential to spread rapidly across borders, causing serious socio-economic damage.
He stated that TADs can disrupt or hinder domestic production, sales and international trade of livestock and their products. “Any diseased animal is not going to provide maximum productivity; so we need to control these diseases so that our animals can produce optimally. The way forward is to continue to seek government’s support so that our trained professionals can control transboundary animal diseases. This will enable us have healthier national herds with optimum productivity to guarantee national food security and indirectly national security”, he said.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations defines TADs as diseases that affect the economy, trade, and food security in some countries, which can easily spread to others and reach epidemic proportions; and where control/management, including exclusion, requires cooperation, between several countries. Some identified transboundary diseases include the foot and mouth diseases, avian influenza, classical and African swine fever, Newcastle disease, valley fever, rinderpest, sheeppox, and goatpox. In 2022, the Federal Government, through the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had disclosed that Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) are responsible for the loss of more than N29 billion annually in the livestock sub-sector in Nigeria. “As we may be aware, transboundary animal diseases are one of the most economically-devastating diseases of livestock in the West and Central African sub-regions through mortality, morbidity and trade restrictions on Nigeria occasioned by the endemicity of some of these diseases in the country”, Osinbajo said.