LSG, Veterinary Council to curb antimicrobial resistance in livestock

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The Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), has said that it will support the Lagos State Government to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance in livestock.

Aishatu Baju, the president of the Council, explained that this would be achieved by completely restricting the use of antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention, and that the support was necessary because if Lagos got it right, other States would follow suit.

According to her, Lagos was already on the right track with its Five-Year Agricultural Transformation Strategy, adding that this influenced the willingness and readiness of the Council to partner with the State Government to ensure the realization of the goals and objectives of the Strategy.

“We are pleased as a council to note the five-year agricultural transformation strategy of the state which centers mostly on the red meat value chain, we are willing and ready to partner with Lagos to ensure the realization of the goals and objectives.

“This partnership will in particular, focus on ways to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance in food-producing animals by completely restricting the use of antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention.

“By this, we will ensure that only wholesome and hygienic meat is produced for consumption,” she added.

She noted that the state is very strategic in the livestock industry in the country 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 also commended the Lagos state government for its massive support for the livestock industry and veterinary services over the years in furtherance of its red meat value chain development agenda as well as the approval to employ additional 20 veterinarians and 10 veterinary para professionals given the current economic situation of the country.

She however, stated that there was a high risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases from poorly regulated abattoirs and slaughter slab adding that the international best practice mandates the veterinarian to certify all food of animal origin meant for human consumption for the assurance of food safety and security.

It is important for the safety of the human populace in Lagos that these animals are properly inspected to ensure their safety and wholesomeness for consumption.

Baju therefore reassured the readiness and willingness of the Council to give full support to the activities of State in the actualization of its red meat developmental agenda including the enforcement of all necessary laws.

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Zainab/BusinessDay