A veterinary doctor with Ambuvets Konsult Limited, Dr. Shehu Shamsudeen has lamented that livestock diseases burden remains the topmost constrained in the development of livestock sector in Africa; saying findings have shown that Nigeria loses over N29.2 billion to five priority livestock diseases of recent.
The five priority livestock diseases according to him include: Peste Des Petites Ruminants (PPR), African Swine Fever (ASF), Newcastle Disease (NCD), Contagious Bovine Pleuropnuemonia (CBPP) and Trypanosomiasis.
According to him, the worldwide studies estimates the average losses to more than 20percent annually with estimated worth of $2billion. He further mentioned that a joint world bank and ILRI projects in Nigeria in 2010 puts estimated annual lose due to the five priority livestock diseases to over N29.2billion.
Speaking during an interaction with newsmen in Kaduna, Shamsudeen said that the impacts of the diseases were likely to be proportionally greater for the poor livestock farmer.
For a country like Nigeria, to lose such amount of money to animal diseases annually is disturbing. While explaining the direct loss, he said over 50percent in Newcastle disease in chickens up to 80percent in small ruminants, which leads to decreased productivity including decreased quantity and quality of eggs, decreased milk yield, increased calf mortality, poor growth rate and increased calf mortality among others.
He, however, commended the role of Nigerian veterinary professionals in tackling some of the livestock diseases in the country; saying they have been developing improved animal diseases diagnosis, breeding techniques and disease intervention strategies.
Earlier, the National President of the Veterinary Association of Nigeria, Professor Garba Sharubutu, lamented the neglect suffered by veterinary profession in Nigeria; which, he said, was the reason why most of the practitioner focused to private practice.