The Nigeria Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) has scored yet another major point in her effort to sanitize the livestock industry. The Institute recently published on its website, the official Federal Government of Nigeria gazette which has empowers it to regulate the activities of breeder farms, hatcheries and dayold chicks marketers in the country. The gazette which is to be cited as “Regulation for Breeder Farms, Hatchery Operations and Day Old Chicks Quality in Nigeria, 2019” appeared in the Federal Government of Nigeria gazette No. 144, Vol. 107 dated 11th September 2020.
The gazette gives exclusive and absolute powers to NIAS to regulate the activities of breeder farms, hatchery operators and marketers of day old chicks, with the aim to ensure that only chicks of good quality are placed on sale to farmers and delivered in the best possible way.
The regulation makes provision for small, medium and large scale operators in the DOC value chain to be registered with the Institute, on a renewable period of three years. Part 6, section 29 (1-3) of the regulation stipulates stiff penalties (heavy fine or imprisonment or both) for any actor who contravene the provisions of the regulation.
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of NIAS, Professor Eaustace Iyayi, while responding to posers from Livestonews on the new regulation, stated clearly that the goal of the regulation is to eliminate poor quality dayold chicks, which causes economic pains to the farmers, from the market. He assured that sale of nondescript chicks in the market will soon be a thing of the past. On the unabated increase in the prices of Dayold chicks, Professor Iyayi retorted as follows;
“We cannot regulate the pricing of DOC because that is determined by market forces. But what NIAS is doing is to intervene through the Honorable Minister of Agriculture for support on livestock production inputs such as DOC, feed ingredients, etc, by way of subsidy especially in adverse times. Just as fertilizer is subsidized for crop farmers”.
With regards to the possible effective date to begin implementation of the regulation, the NIAS Boss replied “No time to waste, we are moving to the field immediately. The implementation takes effect from the date of the gazette, i.e. 11th September, 2020”.
The full “Regulation for Breeder Farms, hatchery Operations and Day Old chick Quality in Nigeria, 2019” is available on the NIAS website and can be assessed through the following link https://www.nias.gov.ng/Regulation%20of%20Breeder_Farms_Hatchery_DOC%20Quality.pdf