The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has launched the 2022 nationwide free mass vaccination against Transboundary Animal Diseases for the North East.
It was gathered 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, Foot and Mouth Disease, Peste Des Petits Ruminants and Newcastle Disease.
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 because 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 the 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 with states in carrying out annual vaccination against TADs to ensure a healthy livestock population, and 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.