In a bid to equip livestock attendants with the necessary skills needed in early recognition of diseases and the institution of appropriate control measures, the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, (VTH) in conjunction with the College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET) has organized a Continuing Education Programme for Livestock Farmers and Animal Health Care Givers titled; “Disease Preventive Measures And Signs of Ill Health in Livestock.
In his Keynote Address, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako who was represented by the Chairman, Committee of Deans and Directors, Professor Amidu Mustapha commended VTH for spearheading the Workshop in conjunction with COLVET which he said is the first of its kind in the College
The Workshop aimed at bridging the gap between the Veterinary Doctors and Livestock Farmers in the area of animal diseases prevention and control.
According to him, the initiative by VTH is in realization of the necessity for extension services in fulfillment of the mandate of the University. This is in line with the mission statement of FUNAAB which is “To build great future leaders and generate knowledge through research and intellectual stimulating environment for teaching, learning and community outreach towards sustainable development”.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that it is common knowledge that livestock diseases constitute major impediment against profitable animal production globally and in Nigeria, pointing out that the adverse effects of disease in terms of productivity, economic and socio-cultural impacts was palpably seen during the outbreaks of Avian Influenza which caused major losses in poultry industry between 2004-2007 and 2014-2015.
He said that the same thing was experienced during the outbreak of African Swine Fever in the pig industry from 1997 to 2004 where huge economic losses recorded however, noting that it could have been averted if adequate preventive and control measures had been put in place by most livestock farms.
Describing the Programme as apt, Professor Salako disclosed that it “is coming at a time when Federal Government is trying to diversify the economy away from over dependency on petroleum products to harnessing the rich potential inherent in Agriculture”.
He further added that “livestock production being a subset of agriculture, will hopefully contribute to increased Gross Domestic Product of the Country”.
Earlier in his Welcome Address, the Director, VTH, Dr. Kayode Sonibare disclosed that the Workshop aims at strengthening the relationship between Veterinary Doctors, livestock farmers and animal health care givers, noting that without these group of people, the role of Veterinarians in animal health care delivery would be absolutely incomplete.
This according to him, is as a result of the crucial roles livestock farmers and animal health care givers renders to Veterinary Doctors in the form of information regarding animal health statuses and history, which is a prerequisite for obtaining appropriate diagnosis and implementation of necessary therapeutic measures by the Veterinary Doctors.
Corroborating the Director, the Dean, COLVET, Prof. Bayo Akinloye noted that for animal handlers to be able to perform their duties efficiently and effectively periodical training courses are necessary for the prevention and control of animal disease which is crucial to improving public health.
According to him, “knowledge of signs of ill health in animal is also important for early warning of diseases, planning and monitoring of disease control programmes as well as rapid detection of the introduction of any disease of livestock which has the potential of developing to epidemic proportions”.