minister Amie Fabureh last week said that Gambia have been losing a whopping
151 million dalasi annually to animal diseases and about 1, 900 metric ton of
meat in the mercy of diseases.
Addressing agriculture stakeholders at the validation forum of the Animal Health Bill 2019 and amendments of the 2000 Veterinary Council Act at Baobab holiday resort in Bijilo, Minister Fabureh said more than five percent of Gambian animals die due to diseases.
She said although the livestock subsector potential is yet to be fully tapped, it continues to play a significant role in the socio-economic development of the country. “The subsector remains a unique source of income and food security enhancer for the majority of rural people and contributes at least 29 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), giving rise to the number of people venturing in livestock production, especially small ruminants and poultry.”
Minister Fabureh said despite the good attributes, the livestock subsector continues to be affected by several challenges, including increased threats of disease outbreaks, feed and water shortage, inadequate marketing opportunities and a weak state of veterinary services. “This is mainly due to the shortage of veterinarians.”
Director General of the Department of Livestock Services Dr. Abdou Ceesay explained that government has a target to modernize the veterinary legislation in order to enhance its performance for improved livestock in the country.
He said through government’s partnership with the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the continental body has agreed to support the country in reviewing and updating her veterinary legislation. “The process has started, which culminated in the production of the Animal Health Bill, proposed amendments to the 2000 GVC Act and proposed amendments to the obsolete 1994 Animal Disease Act regulations.”