By CECILIA JOHN
ABUJA- A dog expert, Mr Bruno Ezugoh has called for stringent measures to stop dog meat trade in Nigeria.
Ezugoh, Managing Director of Chuns Kennels made the call in an interview with newsmen at the end of the 9th Edition of the Abuja annual Chuns Dogshow on Tuesday.
Ezugoh, who is also the President, Chuns Dog Show, said it had become pertinent for relevant authorities to strengthen existing laws prohibiting animal cruelty, particularly consumption of dogs.
He said the call had become necessary following the importance of dogs in helping to tackle insecurity in Nigeria among other things.
He further said, “since our laws prohibit possession of firearm except for special reasons, having dogs will go a long way in alerting people to flee from danger.”
According to him, it is counterproductive to kill dogs for consumption, adding that there were alternatives that could be explored for protein.
‘”There is a need for government to come up with stringent measures to stop the killing and consumption of dogs in view of their importance to the society.
“I know there is a law against animal cruelty in Nigeria but I have not seen so much result in terms of implementation.
“Dogs are pets and they are known as man’s best friend and should be preserved for purposes of security.
“In Nigeria and particularly in some parts of the country dogs are reared mainly for consumption when there are other forms of protein.
“As we speak, the rising demand for dog meat has increased the rate at which people steal it, which is unfortunate,”he said.
Ezugoh urged government to be strict with adherence, adding that in other climes where killing of dogs and other animals were prohibited, the laws were strict.
He said, “some countries have stringent measures that prescribe several years imprisonment for animal cruelty.”
The dog show president urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of training their dogs in order to maximise their usefulness rather than rearing them for consumption.
He said training had several advantages, including preventing aggressive behaviour towards people.
“The problem we have is that people buy dogs and do not bother to train them and when they become grown they become a threat even to their owners.
“We have heard of several instances where dogs harm their owners and family members and some even loose their lives because the dogs were wild,”he said.
On the dog show, Ezugoh said 97 dogs competed out of 138 that registered from within and outside the country, with 31 winners.
He said out of the 31 winners, 19 won trophies while others got medals.
He said the competition was in six categories, Obedience, Agility, Protection, Best of Groups, Conformation, Freestyle.
He said a Border Collie breed called Lio, owned by a German, Christiane Cohnen won the first position known as Best In Show and got a cash prize of N100,000.
Ezugoh further said the Reserve Best in Show position was won by a Boston Terrier breed known as Blue and owned by a German family, Dominik and Lea Mueller with a prize of N25, 000.
The president also said the Best Puppy in Show position was won by a German Shepherd breed known as Sky and owned by a Nigerian known as Johnny Mahtani with N25,000 cash prize.
He said Mr Paul Omata, Commissioner of Police(K9) Force Headquarters Abuja, who graced the ocassion, presented the various prizes to the winners.
Ezugoh said besides entertainment, the dog show was organised for more awareness on importance of dogs, their training and need for security agencies to consider training their dogs in Nigeria.
He called for more sponsorship for the annual event, adding that it was an avenue for various brands to showcase their products.
He also said having more sponsors for the show would expand its reach and attract tourists that would invariably help government to generate more revenue.(NAN)