The Senate is considering a bill that will create a database for livestock.
The bill for an Act to ‘establish national livestock and management (protection, control and management etc) bureau’ scaled second reading on Tuesday. It is sponsored by Bima Enagi (APC, Niger South).
The legislation is aimed at solving the challenge of animal identification and management by establishing the National Livestock Bureau for the purpose of livestock identification, traceability, registration, cattle rustling control and livestock disease control.
Leading the debate, Mr Enagi noted that although livestock identification was originally intended to indicate ownership and prevent rustling, it has been expanded to include information on animals’ origins (birthplace, parentage, sex, breed, genetics) as well as the ability to trace an animal product back through the marketing chain to its source.
He said the movement of livestock and their products has increased the spread of diseases, increased the threat to human health and reduced consumer confidence in animal products. The Bureau, when established, will ensure the traceability of animal products into the country, in order to safeguard the lives citizens.
Some objectives of the Bill include:
* Creation of a National Livestock Identification database.
* Ensure management, traceability, and control of movement of livestock.
* Ensure livestock health and disease management through disease surveillance, prevention and quick response to disease outbreaks.
* Food safety through the traceability of animal products.
* Enhance transparency and information in the food chain.
* Deter animal theft, especially as it affects the incessant cattle rustling crisis.
* Aid intelligence gathering by security agencies towards mitigating the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers and
* International market access and trade, thereby diversifying the economy.
The lawmaker said the database would serve as a guide for policy formulation by government and ensure the regulation of participants in the livestock business.
Breakdown of the bill
The Bill contains 28 Clauses with a Schedule.
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Clauses 1-6 deals with the establishment, objectives and functions of the Bureau while Clauses 7-8 provides for appointment of staff and pension matters and clauses 9 -12 contains provisions for funds of the Bureau, annual estimates and report.
Clauses 13-17 deals with the establishment and functions of Zonal offices.
Niger senator Sabi Abdullahi seconded the bill describing it as timely.
After passage, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development further legislative work and public hearing.
The panel is to report back in four weeks.