The World Animal Day (WAD) was first organised on 24th March 1925 and moved to  4th October 1929, it was unanimously accepted and adopted in 1931 by the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence, Italy and declare October 4th as the day for global Commemoration of World Animal Day, while World Farm Animals Day was declared on October 2nd, 1983. Observation of this day has brought significant influence on the growth of the livestock industry and encouraged people to work together to sensitize communities, making them aware of the needs of animals and also how they can improve their lives.

 

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, through the Department of Animal Husbandry Services, joined the rest of the world to mark the two special World Animal Days on 4th October 2022, for the first time in Nigeria to draw the attention of practitioners and other stakeholders to the importance of Good Animal Husbandry Practices in Climate Change discourse globally. The Day offered an opportunity to celebrate and embrace all animals including farm and non-farm animals and their unique concerns and care requirements in every Country

The Theme for this year’s celebration was “GOOD ANIMAL HUSBANDRY PRACTICE, IS CLIMATE SMART” This explains the Climate Smart Animal Agriculture strategies that include sustainable livestock production systems to address environmental issues while ensuring improved productivity, enhanced resilience,  and reduced Green House Gas Emissions. It also promotes food and nutritional security with emphasis on safe food to meet Sustainable Developmental Goals.

The event took place at FMARD Premises, No 1 Capital Drive, FCDA, Area 11, Garki, Abuja with two unique activities; a radio interview and exhibition of Live animals and Animal products. The event was graced by the Honourable Minister of State, Permanent Secretary of FMARD, all Directors from the various Departments in the Ministry and many livestock stakeholders; including Nigeria Institute of Animal Science, FCTA Dept of Livestock, Animal Science Association of Nigeria, FAO, ILRI, Agricultural Correspondent Association of Nigeria (ACAN),  Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, National Association of Donkey Breeders Producers Marketers and Exporters of Nigeria, SHEEGOFAN, DELIFROST Caterers Nig Ltd, MILCOPAL, Poultry Association of Nigeria, FCWamco Nigeria, CODARAN, and many Livestock Value Chains farmers.

The Director also had a live interview on World Animal Day Celebration at Radio Nigeria House, Abuja with Radio Nigeria Network News.

The Director, of Animal Husbandry Services, Mrs Winnie Lai- Solarin in her welcome address expressed her belief that with the kind support of the government and the necessary enabling environment. World Animal Day will be another platform annually to bring together all stakeholders towards having sustainable climate-smart livestock production as an instrument to contribute to the well-being of Nigerians and meet UN development goals.

Goodwill messages were delivered by Registrar, NIAS, Professor Iyayi Eustace and other distinguished Livestock stakeholders invited by the Department

The Hon. Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri gave an opening speech and he reminded all to examine the current animal husbandry practices in relation to the environment in the ever-changing climate situations with the view to adapting and mitigating its effects for increased profits in livestock businesses and thereafter declared the First National World Animal Day Celebration Open.

A group photograph of Hon. Minister of State, Permanent Secretary, Directors, Registrar of NIAS and distinguished guests were taken with the Director of Animal Husbandry Services.

Dignitaries were led by the Director, of Animal Husbandry Services to the exhibition stands where various live Animals and animal products and Pasture Seeds were displayed.

The animals and products on display were live  Donkeys, Goats, Chicken, Snail, Grasscutter, Rabbit, Dairy products, Eggs, an animal Semen preservation unit and Pasture Seeds (Bracharia, Andropoga). Participants were served dairy products such as yoghurt, ice cream, Kilishi, boiled eggs and food, they were also entertained with beautiful animal voices.

The Deputy Director of DAHS, Mr Yekeen Rasaki thanked all that participated in the event for their support toward the success of the occasion. The event was memorable and commendable and it is believed that the annual celebration of World Animal Day has come to stay in Nigeria and is expected to be replicated in all states of the Federation.