BELLO Agaie, National President of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) on Monday said there is currently no scientific evidence that forbids the consumption of donkey meats for safety reasons.
Agaie told The ICIR in an interview following a stern warning by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on the consumption of donkeys and arbitrary sale of unwholesome meat in the territory.
“There is no scientific evidence yet against the safety of donkey meat,” says Agaie.
But he issued warning on the declining population of the domestic animal in the country, stressing that they might soon go into extinction.
“…However, we are concerned about the rate donkeys are being killed for meat and skin, Agaie, a professor of Veterinary Medicine said.
“They may soon go into extinction, which ultimately may affect biodiversity and ecosystem balance as they are not been quickly replaced when compared to the rate of their depletion.”
Two FCTA authorities had on Monday frowned at the persistent sales of donkey meat in the territory. The administration in a report by the Voice of Nigeria (VON) based its stance on safety reasons and the state of abattoirs.
The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), described the sales of donkey meat in the territory as unacceptable, thus directed its Department of Monitoring and Enforcement to seize and destroy any unwholesome fresh meat brought into the territory for consumption.
“There is no guarantee of the health status of the meat brought in from the states, unfortunately, the jurisdiction of FCT inspection and regulatory agencies do not extend to other states,” Baba Lawan, AEPB Director had stated.
“As a budding world-class city and capital of Africa’s most populous nation, Abuja attracts a lot of local and foreign dignitaries, therefore, it deserves nothing but the best, especially in food quality”.
“They are free to operate in the states, but FCT should never be turned to a centre for dumping unhealthy meat. We won’t allow that,” Regina Adulugba, FCT’s Director, Veterinary Services, in the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat warned meat traders in the report.
She earlier stated that the FCTA might declare State of Emergency on the abattoirs and slaughter slabs in Abuja.
On the poor state of abattoirs, the NVMA boss further advised the Federal Government, states and the local governments to repair all abattoirs in the country in the interest of public health.
He emphasised on the need for veterinary experts to verify animals sold for consumption before final intake.
“Regarding the state of abattoirs, it’s not only worrisome but unfortunate. We urge governments at all levels to prioritize rehabilitation and upgrade of abattoirs nationwide in the interest of public health and ensure that veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals are engaged to certify the wholesomeness and hygienic status on meat and other products going to the market and eventually table from our abattoirs as required by our laws in line with international standards.”
The United States Centre for Disease Control says consumption of unwholesome meat could cause deaths or trichinellosis.
It defines trichinellosis as a disease contacted via intake of raw or under-cooked meat from animals infected with the microscopic parasite.
The Centre also advocates for the consumption of healthier animal, feeding, and processing to improve food supply safety.