The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,
has launched the 2022 nationwide free mass vaccination against Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TADs) for the North East.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the vaccination was launched on Thursday at Rugar Jauro Mu’azu in Dadin-Kowa
community, Yamaltu/Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, said at the launch that the exercise was to ensure an
improved livestock sub-sector.
Represented by Dr Maimuna Habib, the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Abubakar said the vaccination was against TADs such
as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR)
and Newcastle Disease (NCD).
He said the Federal Government had provided over two million doses of vaccines to support the six states in the North East Zone.
He added that vaccination was vital in view of the fact that livestock production was a major means of livelihood in Nigeria,
employing about 70 per cent of the country’s population.
According to him, the country’s livestock population is put at 22,378,374 cattle; 53,061,143 sheep; 99,879,799 goats; 9,299,563
pigs and over 425,790,456 poultry, spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
He said that the full potential of the animals and the attendant socio-economic benefits they provide could not be guaranteed
unless they were in a state of good health, hence the vaccination.
He added that “the sub-sector provides economic and food security, nutrition and means of livelihood for majority of rural dwellers.
“Livestock supplies the much-needed protein for growth and mental development of our children, spendable income and cash
reserves for use in times of emergency.
“The by-products from these animals like hides and skin are used in the production of belts, shoes and bags, while the
bone meal is used in animal feed production, as organic fertilisers come from animal wastes for crop production.”
The minister said that the Federal Government would continue to partner states in carrying out annual vaccination against
TADs to ensure healthy livestock population, and to achieve the much-desired herd immunity for prevention and possible eradication.
Abubakar further said that the vaccination would continue in the remaining four geo-political zones of the country, having carried
out similar exercise in Jigawa for the North-West in March.
On his part, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, said the event demonstrated government’s commitment to boosting animal
health, as well as preventing setbacks in livestock management.
According to Yahaya, TADs have high mortality rate and are contagious, as they can cause negative socio-economic and public health consequences.
The governor said “our efforts are geared toward eradicating these menaces through massive annual vaccination campaign so as to
achieve herd immunity.
“Let me therefore assure you of our commitment to sustain this campaign for general improvement of livestock production in the state
and across the region.
“We also want to reduce the impact of these diseases on our peasant pastoralists, as this administration has procured enough vaccines
and other veterinary equipment for the exercise in spite of scarcity of funds.”
He, therefore, appealed to the pastoralists and other stakeholders to give the necessary cooperation to veterinary personnel that would
conduct the exercise so as to ensure success.
Appreciating the Federal and Gombe State governments,
Malam Modibbo Yaya, the Gombe State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), thanked
the federal and Gombe State governments for the exercise, saying the vaccination was apt.
He said “we thank the Federal Government for the initiative on transformation of the livestock sector.
“We also commend the Gombe State Government for developing interest to partner with the Federal Government to actualise
the plan in Gombe State.
“The successful implementation of the annual vaccine programme will ensure quality meat and milk sufficiency, wealth creation
by improving productivity, ensure food security and animal development.” (NAN)