Motunrayo Esan, Nigeria’s leading expert in animal law, recently reiterated the fundamental importance of attending to the poor state of animals in abattoirs and zoos across the country.
With her extensive expertise and commitment to animal protection nationally and internationally, Ms. Esan sheds light on the shady practices and unimaginable state of some Nigerian animals.
According to Ms. Esan, “although many people might not know this, Nigeria has relatively fair animal welfare laws. In fact, we exceed the standards of some other countries.
“However, this is only on paper. In reality, Nigeria has one of the most unsafe conditions for animals raised for food in Nigeria. I think the success of the poor status thrives on the misinformation of many Nigerians.
” I think that if the processes were more transparent, our people would begin to ask questions. Everyone cares about the quality of the food that they eat.”
“In December 2023, a special report of some investigations in Oko-Oba Abattoir in Lagos revealed where sick and dead animals were being slaughtered for sale in markets.
“The sight was scary. Many Nigerians are not aware of this because there is such a gap between the point of slaughter and when it ends up on our plate. It is scary.
” The results of the report show that there is indeed a deep gap between the provisions of Animals and Diseases (Control) Act.
“The government needs to pay more attention to enforcing these laws seeing as there are health issues at stake. Some of those animals died of illnesses that humans can contact.”
Motunrayo Esan is an animal lawyer licensed in Nigeria and the United States. She hails from Ekiti state and has three law degrees. After an extensive research project in her undergraduate years where she drafted a law to regulate the use of dogs as security in Nigeria, she immersed herself in the field of animal law and has since risen to an influential position where she serves on boards of major animal advocacy NGOs.
She lectures students on world animal protection and has pioneered the development of the field of animal law in Nigeria.
Her vision is for improved animal welfare conditions and extensive education on animal law issues that have for long been lightly esteemed.