THE World Veterinary Association’s (WVA’s) Animal Welfare Award winner for 2019, Dr Anthony Nsoh Akunzule, has admonished Ghanaians to treat animals with care and dignity.
He said as dependants on animals for dairy products, the health of animals should be of utmost importance to the human race.
“The health of animals to humans is important because we eat the meat from the animal, we eat the egg of the animal and we drink the milk of the animal.
“So if there is any disease in the animal and you eat the meat of the infested animal, the disease can be transferred to you,” he told the Ghanaian Times in Accra, citing anthrax as an example.
“If you are bitten by a rabies infested dog, you contract dog mediated human rabies and rabies kills so if you took good care of the dog from contracting rabies, it won’t bite man for man to be infected.”
He was speaking on the sideline of a reception organised in his honour by the Veterinary Services Department in Accra on Friday to celebrate the feat.
The WVA Animal Welfare Awards recognises and reward veterinarians who in their daily lives contribute to the protection and welfare of animals and have provided outstanding and exemplary welfare-related services to animals, animal owners, fellow veterinarians, and the public.
According to Dr Akunzule, ensuring good animal health extends to the environment because “the anthrax lives in the soil and if the soil harbours the virus, it passes it on to the animal and then to the human being so that is how far caring for the animal goes”.
With this, Dr Akunzule said it was critical that “we” took proper care of “our” animals by feeding them on time and ensuring that they slept in conducive environment.
Doing this, he said, would be in fulfillment of the five freedoms of animal – free from hunger, freedom from heat stress, freedom from injury, pain and disease, freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour and freedom from fear and distress – as contained in the Brambell Report, UK, 1965.
“Let us not confine and cage the animals where they will not have freedom of movement,” he said.
Matthieu Patriat, the Africa Director of CEVA Animale Sante, France, underscored the importance of animals to the human race.
For example, he said in 2050, the world would need two folds of food it was producing today; “that means we have to double milk and means and so, if we are not taking good care of our animals, imagine what would happen to us”.
“The health of animals is important to human survival so let us take good care of our animals,” he told the gathering and lauded Dr Akunzule for his love for animals.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI