Bill is aimed at mitigating the extinction of donkeys given their aesthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the nation.
Senate President adds this is a business opportunity in ranching and breeding of donkeys because some countries export a lot of donkeys from Nigeria.
Donkey Dealers Association (DDA) warned last year that any proposed ban on donkey slaughtering in Nigeria would result in the loss of jobs for three million Nigerians.
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that seeks to regulate the slaughtering of donkeys in Nigeria and develop the local breeding and ranching of Donkeys in Nigeria.
The bill was passed on Wednesday afternoon after it was read for the 3rd time.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan after the passing of the bill praised the bill as a means of regulating the way Donkeys are exported from Nigeria/
The Senate in a statement said the “ Donkey Slaughter Regulation and Export Certification Bill, 2023 (SB. 496) is read the Third Time and PASSED!”, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan added:
“Congratulations! There is a business opportunity in ranching and breeding of donkeys because some countries export a lot of donkeys from Nigeria and our donkeys are going into extinction.”
“It is very good that we are regulating the way our donkeys are taken out of the country.”
The Senate also passed the Shea Development Council (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (SB. 147).
3 million jobs at stake
In 2022, The Donkey Dealers Association (DDA) warned that the then-proposed ban on donkey slaughtering in the country would result in the loss of jobs for three million Nigerians.
National Chairman of the association, Mr. Ifeanyi Dike revealed this at the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development chaired by Sen. Bima Enagi last year.
The Senate revealed the bill is aimed at mitigating the extinction of donkeys given their aesthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the nation.
It also seeks to declare donkeys as an endangered species which as a result of indiscriminate slaughtering for the purpose of harvesting its skin, has greatly depleted the national herd of the animal.
Dike said that the outright ban on slaughtering donkeys was not a solution to the envisaged extinction of donkeys in the country, adding:
“We should know that an outright blanket ban as proposed by this bill will create some powerful smuggling syndicates who are bent on getting the donkey derivatives for export to China thereby sabotaging the economy.
“The blanket ban on donkey killing and export of its derivatives as a result of a morbid fear of its extinction has failed to realize that regulation, ranching, and breeding is the solution.
“Cows which we slaughter more than 50,000 on a daily basis as meat has not gone into extinction, so how can a donkey with the same gestation period as a cow go into extinction? We should encourage breeding and ranching.”
The Donkey Trade stakeholders added they invested heavily over the years and had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) for the breeding and production of five million donkeys within a space of 10 years, in a bid to increase the local population of donkeys in Nigeria to avoid its extinction.
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