The Battle Against Transboundary Animal Diseases In Nigeria And Some West African Countries

Timothy Uzochukwu Obi


The President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, the Chairman of the occasion, distinguished Fellows of the Academy, our Fellows for today's induction, invited guests, gentlemen of the press and media, ladies and gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to have been chosen to give this lecture. I have chosen this title because in recent years some animal diseases have become increasingly important in terms of their economic or zoonotic impact in Nigeria as well as its neighboring countries. 

Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) are defined by Food and Agriculture Organization Emergency Prevention System (FAO/EMPRES) as those animal diseases that are of significant economic, trade, and/or food security importance for a considerable number of countries; and which can easily spread to other countries and reach epidemic proportions and where control/management, including exclusion, requires co-operation between several countries. The occurrence of any of these diseases in any country may compromise food security through serious loss of animal protein and/or loss of draught animal power for cropping, may lead to significant production losses in meat, milk, and other livestock products.

It may also make it impossible to up-grade the production capacity of indigenous livestock importation breeds through high-producing exotic breeds which are usually highly susceptible to these diseases. The prohibitive cost of control of these diseases increases, very significantly, production costs while TADS in a country may disrupt or inhibit trade in livestock and livestock products and, in effect, adversely affect national export economy. Some transboundary animal diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) or Rift Valley fever are transmissible to humans (zoonosis) and therefore have public health consequences of varying magnitude. Others like Rinderpest may lead to decimation of wildlife population and therefore have environmental impact as well as adversely affect tourism and recreational opportunities for individual countries.


Animal Diseases, Livestock, Nigeria

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