Abattoirs – A Hidden Centre for Livestock Genetic Resources Loss in Nigeria
Abattoirs and Fates of Nigeria’s Livestock Resources
Nigeria is naturally blessed with wide diversity of native animal genetic resources. Indigenous ruminant livestock such as cattle, camel, donkey, sheep and goat contributes largely in both protein supply, revenue generation and national economy. In Nigeria, these animal resources are mismanaged and undermined through the indiscriminate slaughter of pregnant animals and foetal losses in abattoirs. This unethical practice resulted in the loss of genetic diversity, preferred traits and superior females ruminant animals. The current research focus on reported incidences across abattoirs, which is a centre where such practice is highly occurs within the country. Lack of modern facilities, law enforcement, poor management and animal welfare in abattoirs to protect pregnant animals are among few factors responsible for an increase in incidences. It is unprofitable to continue the tradition of pregnant animal slaughter that causes foetal losses. This is a condition that significantly threatens the animal genetic resources and general livestock industry in Nigeria. This practice must be discard with a proper conservation and documentation of these valuable animal genetic resources. Both long and short terms conservation programs must aim for substantial benefits of these resources. Laws must be enforced with strict penalties to those involved in pregnant animal slaughter. Genetic resources of these species and meat industry future could be safe with proper implementation of these laws and conservation measures.