NAQS Destroys N42m Worth of Illegally Processed Donkey Skin
The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) yesterday said it has safely incinerated and disposed of a cache of illegally processed export-bound donkey skin worth N42 million in Sheda, Abuja.
The quarantine agency stated that it seized the donkey skin during a string of precision raids on underground donkey skin warehouses and slaughter camps across the country.
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.
In a statement by Head of Media, Communications and Strategies, NAQS, Dr. Gozie Nwodo, the agency noted that the exploitation of the Nigerian donkeys has to be in line with and subservient to the paramount imperative of restocking the national herd population.
The Coordinator of the Operations, Deputy Comptroller-General of Quarantine, Dr. Sunday Audu said: “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 overexploitation of Nigerian donkeys.”
According to him, Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as well as bound by its commitment to protecting endangered species.
He said: “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 overexploitation. Overexploitation will drive them to the brink of extinction. And we don’t want Nigerian donkeys to fade into oblivion like dinosaurs.”
The NAQS recently unveiled a blueprint to structure the donkey value chain. The framework laid out a model of donkey exploitation that is interwoven with the irreducible minimum of proportional restocking.
It stated that 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.
By Kolawole Joseph