The Lagos State Government has commenced decontamination of animal markets in the state, saying it is committed to the promotion of advocacy in environmental health to protect humans and animals from harm.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made the announcement at the commencement of Decontamination of Livestock/Live Bird Markets, Abattoirs and other Animal Related Areas at the semi-mechanised abattoir in Ikorodu.
Lawal in a statement on Sunday, said that environmental, human and animal health were inextricably linked, adding that any negative change to the environment would ultimately harm human beings and animals.
He said the decontamination was in commemoration of this year’s World Veterinary Day celebration with theme: “Environmental Protection for Improving Animal and Human Health’’.
Lawal was represented by the Director, Veterinary Services, Dr Rasheed Macaulay.
He stressed the role of veterinarians as advocates of animal health and welfare, supporting responsible use of natural resources and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The commissioner said that veterinarians were assiduously working together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other zoonotic diseases in the state.
“We are celebrating the World Veterinary Day and at the same time, commencing the flag-off of the decontamination of all abattoirs in the state, including livestock and live bird markets.
“This is in order to curtail the spread of COVID-19 as it is a zoonotic disease, originating from animals and other zoonotic diseases of animal origin.
“That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to decontaminate all animal areas in the state to commemorate the World Veterinary Day.
“This is collaboration between the Veterinary Council of Nigeria and the Lagos State Government,” the commissioner said.
According to him, the three-week long continuous decontamination will see to the decontamination of 50 animal areas, including abattoirs, slaughter slabs, animal clinics as well as livestock and bird markets.
He said that the exercise was not new as there was constant disinfection and decontamination of live bird markets across the state.
“Even before this pandemic, the State Government through the ministry of agriculture has been decontaminating all abattoirs, livestock markets and live bird markets across the state.
“It is not a one-off thing. It is going to be a continuous exercise. That is why we don’t experience any meat-borne disease in the state.
The commissioner listed areas to be decontaminated to include Ikorodu Abattoir, Sabo Cattle Market, Sabo Sheep and Goats Market, Owode Elede Sheep and Goats Market, Agege Abattoir, Agege Animal Market, Abattoir Second Gate Goats and Sheep Market.
Others are Ojokoro Sheep and Goats Market, Mangoro Sheep and Goats Market, Awolowo Live Bird Market, Mushin Main Live Bird Market, Cairo Live Bird Market, Bolade Live Bird Market (Arena), Olaleye Live Bird Market.
Also included are Adebayo Live Bird Market, Ketu Live Bird Market, Mile 12 Live Bird Market, Surulere Clinics, Tejuosho Live Bird Market, Oyingbo Live Bird Market, Jankara Live Bird Market.
In Lagos Island the markets include Pelewura Live Bird Market, Lagos Island; Animal Hospitals, Oja Oba Live Bird Market, Abattoirs 1 and 2 Live Bird Markets, Idera Live Bird Market, and Isaleoja Live Bird Market.
Others are Adeniji Phase II Sheep Goats Market, Achakpo Semi- Mechanized Abattoir, Ajegunle Sheep and Goats Slab, Itire Slaughter House, Ejigbo Slaughter House, Matori Semi-Mechanised Abattoir and Alayabiagba Live Bird Market,” he said.
Lawal named other markets to be decontaminated to include Suuru Live Bird Market, Agboju Live Bird Market, Festac Live Bird Market, Ojo Cantonment Live Bird Market, Alaba Rago Live Bird Market, Okokomaiko Live Bird Market, Ejina Live Bird Market, Ikorodu; Sabo Live Bird Market, Ikorodu.
He listed others as Odongunyan Live Bird Market, Ikorodu; Ajah Veterinary Clinics, Ajah Live Bird Market, Sangotedo Live Bird Market, Epe Veterinary Clinics, T-Junction Sheep and Goats Market, Akodo Live Bird Market, Ibeju- Lekki; Arasi Live Bird Market, Epe.
Ilaje semi-mechanised, Otto Awori Slaughter Slab, Igando Slaughter Slab, Badagry Veterinary Clinics, Agbalata Live Bird Market, Kabiyesi Olorun Cattle Market, Fibre Sheep and Goats Market and Agbalata semi-mechanized Abattoir.
Earlier, the President of the Commonwealth Veterinary Association, Dr Olatunji Nasir, said that 2020 was unique with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that without the health of the environment or the health of animals, human health could not be guaranteed.
“The World Health Organisation states that about 75 per cent of human diseases are gotten from animals.
“So, we as veterinarians serve as an interface in trying to protect human beings from getting zoonotic diseases that are transmitted from animals to man.
“This is why we chose abattoirs, livestock markets and live bird markets where they sell chicken to undertake the decontamination of these places because we know that these are places that are visited by multitudes of people.
“People are going to be consuming products that are coming from these areas so it is our social responsibility to make sure that we do this.”
He advised Lagos residents to keep to the rules that health authorities had laid down, stressing that social distancing should be maintained.
Speaking on behalf of butchers and meat sellers, Alhaji Taliatu Lawal, Chairman of the Ikorodu Division of Butchers’ Association of Nigeria, lauded the efforts of the State Government in carrying out the decontamination.