The United States of America has tightened surveillance on the country’s livestock sector, banning importation of dogs from Nigeria and 112 other countries.
It was disclosed that the sanction was due to Nigeria’s ineffective and faulty dogs’ vaccination system against the prevention of rabies.
This disclosure was made in Abuja on Tuesday by the President, Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Dr. Aishatu Baju, when the ultra-modern Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was commissioned by FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu.
Baju said that the new facility was established as an intervention in the veterinary sector, also meant to improve diagnostic services to FCT as well as neighbouring Nasarawa State.
According to her, the flag-off of vaccination against dog-mediated rabies in the FCT was part of measures to address the challenges in the livestock sector
She said: “Animal disease diagnosis is an important component of veterinary services. I have no doubt in my mind that this laboratory will provide the much needed accurate, rapid and dependable diagnosis and effectively tackle the menace of animal diseases in FCT and its environs.”
Also speaking, the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Olaniran Alabi, said the need to have such a facility can never be overemphasised considering how highly fatal rabies affects all warm-blooded animals.
He said that globally, no fewer than 70,000 people die annually from rabies, despite the disease being 100 percent preventable through mass dog vaccination, public enlightenment campaigns and control of stray dogs.