By Daniel Namwini – Mana
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development said they are committed to bring solutions that will improve animal welfare of livestock, working and companion animals in the country.
Secretary for the ministry, Grey Nyandule Phiri said this during the launch of animal welfare guidelines in Lilongwe.
He said that good animal welfare requires disease prevention, appropriate veterinary treatment, shelter management, nutrition and food security among others.
“Animals must be provided with water, food, proper handling, health care and an environment appropriate to their care and use, with thoughtful consideration for their species-type biology and behavior.
“Animals should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, stress and suffering,” he said.
He added that procedures related to animal housing, management, care and use should be continuously evaluated and when indicated refined or replaced.
He pointed out that conservation and management of animal populations should be humane, socially responsible and scientifically prudent.
“Animals shall be treated with respect and dignity throughout their lives and when necessary provide a humane death,” he added.
Therefore, he said veterinary profession shall continually strive to improve animal health and welfare through scientific research, education, collaboration, advocacy and the development of registration and regulations.
In a separate interview, National Director for Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET), Pamela Kuwali said people handling animals need to understand the welfare needs of the animals.
“People need to ensure an adequate level of competence on the part of the animal responsibility of the owner and manager of the animals.
“Depending on circumstances, it may entail formal training, or day-to-day guidance from competent people,” he said.
Senior Technical Advisor for Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Donnamarie O’Connell said animal welfare organisations and veterinarians should work together with the government to improve animal welfare in the country.
“We encouraged stakeholders to promote good animal health and welfare for the productivity and longevity of livestock to increase through provision of additional resources for the owners and the wider economy,” Donnamarie O’Connell said.
The Ministry of Agriculture recently launched ‘Animal Welfare Strategy for to transform animal resources sector through adoption of good animal welfare practices for human well-being, sustainable livelihoods, poverty reduction and economic growth’.