Senators support bill to protect donkeys from extinction in Nigeria
Post created on July 6, 2021
The bill seeks to mitigate the extinction of donkeys in the country.
The bill, read during plenary on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, aims to protect donkeys which are reportedly endangered in the country.
The bill seeks to establish a Governing Board that will regulate the slaughter, breeding, and ranching of donkeys, and prevent the extinction of the species.
Sponsor of the bill, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North – APC), said the donkey value chain has not received as much attention as cattle, and the animal’s predicament has deteriorated.
He lamented that there’s no programme in place to improve donkey breeding in a practical approach to increase the national donkey population.
Slaughter of donkey has increased for hides which has become a lucrative export product that’s not being regulated, according to his presentation on the floor of the Senate.
The Senate Leader said proper government regulation will increase employment opportunities, revenue generation, provision of social amenities, improved sanitary conditions of the slaughter processing facilities, and organised export trade.
Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe (Kwara Central – APC) said the bill is not just about the protection of donkeys, but also to protect Nigerians, as the extinction of animals threatens human existence.
Senator Ajayi Boroface (Ondo North – APC) said,
“Donkey is one of the rare animals we have in this country, and the disruption of equilibrium in the system is very dangerous.
“We may not be able to predict the consequence now, so it is better for us to do everything to preserve this animal,”
Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East – APC) said donkeys are particularly useful in the northern region where they are used for farming, and transportation.
He alleged that Chinese nationals in Nigeria are benefiting from an unregulated market, with massive exportation of donkeys outside the country for their valued skin.
Before deliberation started on the bill, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South – PDP) raised a constitutional point of order to note that the Senate lacks jurisdiction to legislate on the issue according to the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
He argued that,
“We are to make laws exclusively for what is determined in the constitution. We do not make laws for residual matters that are left for state and local governments.
“Livestock and matters of that nature are in the residual list because they’re not expressly provided for in the constitution,”
His position was supported by Senator Bashir Ajibola (Osun Central – APC) who noted that the fact a subject matter is necessary does not confer legislative competence on the National Assembly if it’s not supported by the terms of the constitution.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North – APC), overruled their arguments, stating that the bill is not about consumption, but concerns the extinction of donkeys, and how it could destroy the nation’s ecosystem.
The bill was passed for second reading through a voice vote, and referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to report back within two weeks.