Keynote Address

posted on Mar 8, 2024 by


The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,
The Director of Veterinary Services,
Other Eminent Directors,
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me a great pleasure to pay you this courtesy visit along with the leadership of the Society for Animal Rights Protection (SARP), to register our profound appreciation of your leadership of this strategic ministry. We are not unaware of the giant strides of the Executive Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde FNSE, especially, in the area of prevention and control of animal diseases including zoonoses.

The effective prevention of occurrence of Anthrax disease in Oyo State comes to mind among other landmark achievements that have been recorded under this administration. The sustenance of Peste de petit Ruminantum (PPR) vaccination in goats and anti-rabies vaccination of dogs are also examples of demonstration of welfare concern for animals by this administration.

Your Honour sir, the Society for Animal Rights Protection (SARP) came into existence in 2021 as a Non- Governmental Organization committed to the advancement of animal welfare and prevention of animal cruelty in Nigeria through public advocacy, direct physical engagements in workshops, seminars , mass media (including print and electronic media- radio and television, social media) etc. within the period of our existence, we have recorded good successes and received positive feedbacks which have continued to serve as impetus for us to continue moving forward, undeterred for the benefits of humans and animals.

Sir, permit me to intimate you with the five cardinal principles of animal welfare that is protected by both international convention (United Nation Declaration of Animal Rights 1978) and domestic (Nigerian laws), including Criminal Code of 1990 and Animal Disease Act of 2022.
These principles include:
Freedom from fear and anxiety
Freedom from hunger and thirst
Freedom from discomfort
Freedom from pain, injury and diseases
Freedom to express natural behavior
These five cardinal freedoms came out of the recommendation of Professor Roger Brambell’s Committee set up by the government of the United Kingdom in 1965 in response to the public outcry against inhumane exploitation of animals, especially, those raised intensively. This development also had its foundation on the efforts of Richard Martins in 1822 who succeeded to push for legislation against inhumane treatment of cattle, popularly referred to as Martins Act of 1822. Animal welfare and prevention of animal cruelty is not a modern day or new age movement. It was established in the Mosaic Torah of Judaism, enshrined in the Christian Bible, established in the Muslim Qur’an and well preserved in African indigenous religion!
Sir, all your efforts on animal disease diagnoses and prevention of animal diseases are in tandem with a few of the five freedoms earlier stated. Freedom from pain, injury and diseases and to some extent, freedom from discomfort.

The rabies prevention and control law which was signed in 2021 by our amiable Executive Governor is also in support of freedom from diseases. However, other aspects of freedoms requires more efforts in order to guarantee animal welfare and prevention of animal cruelty in Oyo State.
For example, the manner of animal transportation, especially, food animals, in Oyo State deserves urgent attention by the government. As we speak, there is no definite regulation guarding animal transport in terms of specification of number of animals to be carried by a specified vehicle from one place to the other. Haulage of animals currently expose them to untold stress, fatigue and even death. Our organization has observed that the use of cars (micra), overstocking in mini trucks are major banes of food animal welfare in Oyo State. This is inconsistent with global best practices and urgent steps are necessary to redeem the situation.

In addition sir, freedom from fear and anxiety also requires your urgent attention, especially at the abattoir. Butchers requires continuous capacity building to reinforce in them principles of humane slaughter practices. This is impossible, bearing in mind the inadequate number of veterinary doctors in the employment of Oyo State to enforce zoo-sanitary practices and animal welfare compliance at the abattoirs.

We therefore recommend, most humbly, employment of more veterinarians in other to enhance efficiency, productivity and guarantee wholesomeness of the meat consumed by the general public. Enforcement of Animal welfare protocols are now considered as important aspects of meat inspection and meat quality in advanced countries of the world. Animals that conforms to standard welfare practices are more highly priced than those that are not.
It is against this backdrop that the Society for Animal Rights Protection wishes to organize a capacity building training workshop in partnership with the Department of Veterinary Services, a workshop for butchers on the 28 March, 2024 (we have just submitted a letter of request for approval of the training workshop for your kind consideration).

Habitat loss or animal habitat destruction by humans is another dimension of abuse of animal rights (i.e. wild animals) and sustainability of species. Sir, we were pained by the reported destruction of most part of the forest at Agodi gardens, to pave way for urban renewal efforts of the State government. Sadly, the forest at Agodi gardens is the habitat of a rare bird species, already facing the threat of extinction, known as Ibadan Malimbe ( Malimbe ibadanensis). That forest and the bird over the years had placed Ibadan on the global map of wild bird ecology and ornithology.

Today, the habitat loss would affect the survival of this rare bird species and threaten the achievement of Sustainable Development. Therefore, we call on the government of Oyo state to halt the destruction of this forest because of significant ecosystem services that it stands for in the interest of future generations.
In conclusion sir, we strongly recommend the setting up of Animal Welfare Committee under the purview of the Department of Veterinary Services which will oversee the aforementioned duties and responsibilities. This will enable Oyo State to set a new record of progress for other states of the Federation, as the pace setter state.

The machinery to pass animal welfare laws to safeguard animal welfare should be put in place in order to domesticate sections 20, 21, 22 and 23 of the Animal Disease Act (2022), for easy application and enforcement in the state.

We also humbly recommend urgent recruitment of veterinarians to improve clinical, epidemiological, public health, disease reporting and surveillance duties throughout the five zones of the state as well as rehabilitation/ reconstruction of veterinary clinics and hospitals across the state.

Your Honour sir, these steps are necessary in order to achieve the vision of Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SaFER) as enunciated by the Executive Governor of Oyo State, especially as it concerns animal health and production subsector of the State’s economy.
On behalf of my team members here present and our Board of Trustees, I thank you in anticipation of your favourable consideration of these recommendations.

Once again, thank you for this opportunity and for your rapt attention.

Dr. Ibikunle A. Faramade, DVM, MVet.Sc., MSIRDA (Ibadan)
President/ C.E.O.
Society for Animal Rights Protection

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