The World Animal Protection (WAP) has warned Nigeria and other African countries against the abuse of animals and intensive livestock consumption.
The group gave the warning at its 2nd African Protein Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday.
Speaking at the summit, Victor Yamo, Farming Campaigns Manager at WAP, urged African countries to promote humane animal production for the benefit of climate restoration.
Mr Yamo explained that the rapid growth of the human population particularly in Africa, with increasing affluence, has led to a surge in demand for animal products.
He added that the intensification of livestock production was already gaining popularity to meet the demand.
“However, intensive livestock production is associated with significant animal abuse, water and environmental pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss and increased greenhouse gas emissions, making it an unsustainable method of food production,” Mr Yamo said.
The two-day summit highlighted the urgent need to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of intensive livestock production systems and emphasised the importance of preserving humane production systems that support small-scale farmers in the region.
Numerous negative impacts associated with the intensive livestock production systems listed at the summit include; compromised animal welfare, public health concerns, and adverse effects on the environment and climate such as increased greenhouse gas emissions through deforestation for animal feed production and high-fertiliser use.
Also, the excessive nutrient excretion from overfed animals further contributes to higher emissions. These negative externalities are often overlooked, particularly in developing nations striving to combat poverty and achieve food security.
The summit recognised Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions were mainly from agriculture, forestry and other land-use change estimated at 65 per cent of the continent’s emissions.
It was further recognised that whilst there is room for lower meat consumption countries in Africa to increase their rates to meet nutritional needs, however, embracing intensive livestock production would endanger food and nutrition security and livelihoods of smallholder producers while worsening the superbug and climate crisis.
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