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Miyetti Allah to FG: Begin nationwide vaccination of livestock against anthrax

Miyetti Allah to FG: Begin nationwide vaccination of livestock against anthrax
September 28
18:44 2023

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has called on the federal government to embark on a nationwide vaccination of livestock against anthrax.

Baba Othman-Ngelzarma, the association’s president, made the call in a statement on Thursday.

Anthrax is an infection caused by the spore-forming bacteria, Bacillus anthracis. It affects ruminants such as cows, sheep, and goats.

It is a zoonotic disease — transmissible from contaminated animals to humans.

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Humans can get infected if they handle or are involved in the slaughter of a sick animal, or are in contact with contaminated animal products.

Othman-Ngelzarma said Nigeria has more than 20 million cattle and 75 million sheep and goats, with various influx of other animals either for trade or transit from Chad, Niger, Ghana, Cameroon and Benin.

He said while the outbreak has only been reported in two states, it can still spread to other parts of the country.

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“Anthrax being a zoonotic disease and a national security matter due to its nature of spread and mortality must be treated with all the urgency it deserves,” the statement reads.

“Therefore, the best solution in dealing with the problem is to embark on a nationwide vaccination exercise.”

He commended the federal government for the early detection of the anthrax outbreak.

He added that a few risk-based vaccination exercises conducted by the government in the affected areas did not cover up to two percent of the livestock population in the country.

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“Our members have lost over three million heads of cattle in the ensuing insurgency, banditry and cattle rustling across the states, we are not prepared to incur more,” he noted.

“We, therefore, appeal to the federal government to take stringent measures to curtail the outbreak of not only anthrax but other livestock diseases like foot and mouth disease that have a serious impact on the economic livelihood of our members.

“The fact that livestock constitutes about 37 percent of the GDP in agriculture and which also is a multi-trillion-naira business and a source of employment and creates high-quality jobs in its value chain, should not be allowed to suffer unnecessary shocks.

“We want to assure the Federal Government that we will be partners in progress in not only minimising the farmer/herder conflicts but in taking livestock production to its most desired place under the new administration.

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“The association also commended the Yobe government for the procurement of anthrax vaccines and other vaccines and the vaccination of all livestock in the state.

“We appeal to other state governments to copy Yobe and do the needful to protect their livestock assets.”

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