The Veterinary Council of Nigeria has issued a 60-day ultimatum to all unregistered and illegal veterinary premises in Nigeria to register with the various state committees or face the full wrath of the law.
Inaugurating an 11-man Lagos State Veterinary Practice Premises Committee, on Thursday at the Lagos state Ministry of Agriculture, Alausa, Ikeja, the President of the council, Dr Aishatu Baju said that the committee would inspect, register and license veterinary premises in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee members included: Dr. Rasheed Macauley, Chairman; Dr Idris Adegboyega, Dr Omileye Ayokunle, Dr Mary Ogunleye, Dr Olufemi Aroso, Dr Mobolaji Akio and Dr Funmilayo Alao.
Other members are: Dr Helen Oputa-Chime, DSP Idris Nagoyo, Dr Sunday Adigun and Mr Oluwaseyi Ogbe.
Baju, who said the committee was saddled with the responsibility of regulating the operations of veterinary premises and practitioners in the state, called on the government to give the committee all the support it needed to deliver on its mandate.
According to her, any veterinary premises that failed to register after 60 days, will be shut down completely, and that the clampdown would be enforced in collaboration with the committee.
“The next time I am coming to Lagos, it is to seal all unregistered premises. In the next 60-days, I will be coming back to Lagos to clampdown on all unregistered veterinary premises.
“The Commissioner of Police is with us on this. We will ensure that only registered veterinary premises operate in the country,” Baju said.
She described Lagos state as very strategic for the livestock industry in Nigeria, as it held the highest number of private veterinary premises and related facilities in the country.
Baju noted that the strategic nature of the state had made it mandatory for veterinary services to be properly regulated, to ensure that the state received the best veterinary and other animal healthcare services.
“I am aware of the commendable support that the livestock industry, including the veterinary services have been receiving from the Lagos State Government over the years, but there is need for improvement.
“I am happy to inform you that the Veterinary Council of Nigeria is in the process of digitising and geo-mapping all veterinary practices across the country”, she said.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya said that the committee was expected to inspect, register and license veterinary premises that met set requirements under the state’s Red Meat Transformation Agenda.
Olusanya noted that government was placing greater priority on the development of the red meat value chain through animal traceability, reactivation of control posts and quarantine at entry points to the state.
The commissioner solicited the support and co-operation of the VCN to the success of the transformation agenda, citing the critical role of the veterinary services directorate in that regard.
“I am delighted to welcome the team from the Veterinary Council of Nigeria to Lagos State and to the inauguration of the task force on the state veterinary practice premises.
“The task force is expected to inspect, register and license veterinary premises that meet set requirements. The aim is to have premises with the right sets of professionals that will render quality services to the citizens.
“Your visit is coming at a very appropriate time when the state government is giving greater priority to the development of the entire red meat value chain.
“This is to detect diseased animals and moribund livestock, establishment of feedlots, upgrading of our abattoirs from slab slaughtering to mechanised abattoirs.
“You will agree with me that for the red meat transformation agenda to succeed, veterinary services have a very critical role to play, hence the much needed support and co-operation of the veterinary council of Nigeria,” Olusanya said.
The commissioner noted that the state government had already put in place a standing committee, which derived its powers from the Veterinary Premises Authority Act of 1978, to aid the smooth operations and activities of the task force committee.
She said the committee had been able to officially renew and update the registration status of 30 veterinary clinics, 55 veterinary pharmacies and six veterinary pharmaceutical companies in 2020, through the Lagos State Private Veterinary Premises Registration Authority (PVPRA).
“So far, the registered veterinary premises stand at 26 veterinary clinics, 50 veterinary pharmacies, four Veterinary Ambulatory points, 22 pet shops, six veterinary hospitals and two veterinary pharmaceutical companies”, Olusanya added.
There are an estimated 500 private practise veterinarians in the state. (NAN)