The Abuja Chapter of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) on Wednesday decried the poor state of abattoirs in the country.
Dr Simon Ikechukwu, the Chairman of the association, said at on the sidelines of the NVMA’s Diamond Jubilee and the Veterinary Council of Nigeria’s (VCN) Golden Jubilee in Abuja.
He blamed the situation on the weakness of the existing laws and called on the National Assembly to pass the pending bills that would sanitize abattoirs in the country.
“It is a very pathetic situation and nobody is happy about it; it is our duty to inspect every animal that is being slaughtered for consumption by the public in this country.
“And veterinary as a profession is not joking with it; we do the meat inspection very well but there are limitations to the extent which we can enforce this law.
#“The law is weak towards veterinary enforcement on the abattoir practices and that is why we have a lot of bills at the National Assembly that would straighten things, if passed.
“Then, there would be defined punishment for certain things done. “Today, you want to prosecute somebody whose meat has been condemned; they won’t take it lightly with you.
“And if they do you anything, there are no laws and they are capitalizing on the loopholes to do a lot of things.’’
The chairman noted that there were over 7,000 veterinary professionals all over the country, adding that if the bills were passed into laws, they would be empowered to function better.
Ikechukwu called on Nigerians to take advantage of the veterinary manpower available, saying “the profession has come of age and the experts should always be consulted when the need arises.”
The association was established by Decree 37 of 1969 signed by a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon.