By Ogechi Okorie
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Federal lawmaker representing Sarbon-Gari federal constituency, Hon Garba Datti Muhammad has assured that the bill prohibiting the illegal killings and export of donkey hides will soon be signed into law.
He gave the assurance on Thursday while speaking with newsmen at the a global launch on the impact of global trade in donkey skin in West Africa that took place in Abuja yesterday.
Hon Datti expressed joy for having the bill on (illegal killing of donkeys) being considered in the committee of the rule of the House of Representatives which is the final stage before the 3rd reading and final transmission to the senate for concurrence which will eventually lead to the signing of the bill into law by the president.
Recall that Hon Garba Datti Muhammad is the sponsor of the the bill prohibiting the illegal killings and export of donkey hides which has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The global launch, Titled: “Under the sky” x-rayed the impact of the global trade in donkey skins in West African communities, welfare, farming/reproduction and global trade in donkey skins and Biosecurity.
According to Hon Datti, Donkey is human loving animal which supports the livelihood of an estimated 500 million people in some of the world’s poorest communities. They transport goods to market carry water and wood and also a vital source of income for vulnerable communities and particularly women. Hence the Ethiopian adage that says “A woman without donkey is like a donkey herself”
On the issue of China, a country known to be the biggest threat in the donkey extinction, the Hon, Stressed that since we cannot make laws for China, But in his own capacity as a member of the house of representatives in Nigeria, if and when this bill is signed into law, other countries across the globe will also see the need to ban this illegal trade which will affect the Chinese market.
On whether there is a plan to set up donkey barn/she in the rural areas in order to protect them from thieves, the Hon said that once the bill is passed, people will be sensitised and even the traditional rulers and local government chairmen will be involved in order to create more awareness in order to save this animal from going into extinction.
Also, some of the guest speakers at the global launch spoke passionately about the need to preserve the donkey whose usefulness can never be over emphasised.
In attendance were dignitaries from African countries and the UK.
The launch which has about 20 member-ECOWAS countries have was attended by , Mr Mike baker the CEO of Donkey Sanctuary; Mr Simon Pope, Rapid Response and Campaign manager, The Donkey Sanctuary. Others include, Dr Zoe Raw, head of research, The Donkey Sanctuary; Prof Junaid Kabir, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and a host of others.