Mr Emmanuel Eyoh, Executive Director, Nigeria Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (NSPCA), has urged Nigerians to show compassion for animals, saying we cannot live without them.
Eyoh made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He spoke on the sidelines of a reunion and send-off programme held for a dog, Shawny, by NSPCA, the World Animals Day Ambassador, and Gaurapad Charities, an NGO in Lagos.
NAN reports that the dog, Shawny, is to re-join its owner, Joshua Perera – an 11-year-old boy – in Sri Lanka following his relocation from Nigeria.
Perera left the dog behind while leaving the country six months ago with his father at the expiration of his contract work with the Delta Government.
Eyoh said, “This send-off shows that Nigerians have compassion toward animals, so that we can play a role when it matters the most.
“Because the mantra worldwide now is “Be Kind to Animals’’ just like Mahatma Ghandi said that the “Greatness of a nation is judged by the way animals are being taken care of.
“Nigerians should begin to show compassion toward animals, because we share this world together and cannot live without them as they provide food, companionship and security for us.
“Kindness toward animals will result in a better society; a more compassion and humane society which will make the world a better place to live in.
“If someone is cruel to animals, he or she can easily transfer that cruelty to humans, and such attitude will translate to a bad society.“
He identified lack of awareness and information about animals generally as the main reason why many Nigerians were not compassionate and kind toward them.
According to him, to address this, there is need to introduce humane education, kindness to animals, awareness of environment and animal issues generally in schools.
“The organisation is targeting the group age of three to 11, because these are people you can really mould as they are the future pet owners as well as those exposed to animal abuse.
“We are going to recruit humane education teachers who will be going to nursery and primary schools.
“We have a curriculum which has been developed by the World Society of Animals, “ he said.
Eyoh said lots of people could not afford veterinary care, and as such, many animals were infected with diseases including rabies.
“One of the things we do is Dog Vaccination programme where we take dogs off the streets and give them anti-rabies injections.
“We want to make sure that those dogs do not transmit rabies; we also give vaccines for other animal-related diseases.
“We are working toward getting a mobile clinic to help those people, especially in the rural communities, who are poor and cannot afford veterinary care.
“We are partnering with the World Animal Protection and the Pan-Africa Animal Welfare Alliance in Nairobi, “ he said.
Also, the Chairman, Gaurapad Charities, Mr Bolaji Rosiji, urged Nigerians to embrace animals as they were part of the citizenry. (NAN)
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