Lagos orders closure of pig farms

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered the closure of all pig farms located in residential areas within the State.

This is part of effort to prevent health hazards associated with the practice of pig farming in residential areas.

This comes following several petitions sent by residents of Taiwo Adewole in New Oko Oba settlement of Ojokoro Area of the state on the activities of a pig farm located on the street that has continued to pose both health and environmental hazards to the residents.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau who led a team of agric officers for the closure exercise said that the attention of the Governor was drawn to a petition sent by Wisdom Uzoma adding that “the Governor being a responsive and responsible leader shared in the residents concern and ordered the immediate closure of the farm to forestall the outbreak of any disease.”

Mr Suarau said, “Putting an end to the activities of the pig farm has become inevitable especially regarding the health hazard it posed to inhabitants of the area.”

He continued “We have not only shut down the pig farm, we have also confiscated some of the animals and ordered that the owner of the farm report to the state secretariat for negotiation on how to relocate to one of the  pig farm settlement or estate within the state or risk all animals being confiscated .”

The Commissioner who noted that the health and security of residents is of utmost importance stressed that the present administration would not fold its arms and watch residents suffer from preventable and avoidable health and security mishaps.

The Commissioner enjoined members of the public not to relent in their watchdog role but continue to inform government of any inadequacies that may affect the health and communal living in the state.

Meanwhile, the owner of the pig farm Mr. Bristoe argued that his farm has been in existence long before many of the residential structures were erected.

He however pleaded with government to give him some time to relocate his property.

Speaking with some of the residents of the area on the move by the government to clamp down on the pig farmers, Adedoyin Olowokere said that it was a long overdue.

“We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. The activities of the pig farmer in our area have caused us a lot. In fact, some have had cause to relocate due to the filthy environment.” Olowokere said

A petty trader, Esther Agunbiade who lives around the area said that the initiative was a welcome idea by the state government, urging it to spread it across the state in order to prevent outbreak of disease.

Banji Idowu, a farmer suggested that a place should be allocated for such venture which must be away from the metropolis.

Government has promised that his Ministry would step up monitoring activities of farmers to ensure that they conform to minimum set standard of farming and would also intensify efforts to fish out more farms that constitute health hazard to residents.