The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, Monday, set ablaze N42 million worth illegally processed export-bound donkey skin in Sheda, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja. This was contained in a statement signed by the Head of Media, Communications and Strategies, NAQS, Dr. Gozie Nwodo, where the NAQS disclosed that the seized donkey skin was impounded during a string of precision raids on underground donkey skin warehouses and slaughter camps across the country. According to the statement the raids, which were carried out with a detachment of men of the Nigerian Police from the Force Animal Branch, FAB, followed several unheeded warnings to the operators to shut down those warehouses and stop the decimation of Nigerian donkeys.
The Coordinator of the Operations, Deputy Comptroller-General of Quarantine, NAQS, Dr. Sunday Audu, said the destruction of the donkey skin already processed for illegal export will serve as a deterrent to other criminal-minded persons who engage or are planning to do so. “The volume of donkey skin we are destroying today bears witness to the fact that there is an insidious scorched earth war on Nigerian donkeys. This public destruction of the illegally processed export-bound donkey skin is meant to send a clear signal to all and sundry that the government will not countenance the over-exploitation of Nigerian donkeys. “’Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. We are bound by our commitment to that protocol to protect endangered species.” He also said the service will collaborate with other security agencies to protect donkeys in Nigeria from going into extinction like the popular dinosaur. “One of the few standing bastions of donkeys on the planet, as such, the onus is on the country to ensure that its local donkey breeds don’t disappear from the face of the earth. “Donkeys have a unique place in the human story and their existence ought to enjoy continuity in civilization. So we cannot be indifferent to the escalating threat of their over-exploitation. Over-exploitation will drive them to the brink of extinction. And we don’t want Nigerian donkeys to fade into oblivion like dinosaurs”, he said. However, he (Audu) admonished stakeholders in the donkey value chain to do the business the right way and abide by NAQS regulations on the standard of acceptable conduct for dealers in donkey-related businesses.
The statement also pointed out that, “The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service recently unveiled the principles of a blueprint to structure the donkey value chain. The blueprint lays out a model of donkey exploitation that is interwoven with the irreducible minimum of proportional restocking. “The aim of the blueprint is to create a win-win climate of the virtuous cycle of growth in which the donkeys live and thrive and serve as a dependable base for the sustainable prosperity of donkey businesses. “NAQS has affirmed on many platforms that the exploitation of the Nigerian donkeys has to be congruent with and subservient to the paramount imperative of restocking the national herd population. It also cautions that wherever NAQS catches a whiff of rogue tactics, its officers will be deployed to disrupt the activity and confiscate the products”, it added.
News Credit: Vanguard Newspaper