Nigeria: Vet doctors, global petition decry animal cruelty amid Nigeria’s thriving dog meat market.

Among 15 other countries, Nigeria was labelled to have high risk for rabies infection, lack comprehensive legislation with uncompleted laws on animal sentience, have few veterinarians per capita and include a current documented practice of eating dog meat.

Under miscellaneous offence, Chapter 50, of the country’s 1999 Constitution frowns on abuse of  animals. However, it’s doubtful if anyone has been prosecuted under the law for animal cruelty.

The demand for dog meat 

Michael told Saturday PUNCH that on public holidays they could kill 10 dogs and not be enough to cater to the customers. Michael added that some regular customers could buy dog meat worth N5,000 and upwards.

As barbecue meat is flavoured with spices, Michael said the meat is cooked with scent leaves to give it a particular flavour that will make it enjoyable.

In Nigeria, dog eating is not so common among all the tribes. There are specific tribes reportedly associated with dog meat. However, some persons who do not belong to these tribes have also said that they had eaten the meat.

One of those who have eaten dog meat, identified only as Elizabeth, said the first time she ate dog meat was when she was served during a festival. She admitted that it was until much later she knew that the meat was from a local dog.

She said, “I ate dog meat when I travelled with my grandmother to the village. It tasted good though and I actually didn’t know it was dog meat because there was an Ogun festival. We went to a family friend’s house who gave us pounded yam and the meat. It was later when I went back to Lagos to live with my uncle that I got to know about it.”

The Ekiti State indigene added, “The dog meat tasted better than any other meat.”

Also, an indigene of Ondo State, Bernard Egbodofo-Olu said he enjoyed eating dog meat.

He said, “Dog meat tastes delicious. I eat the local breed and there is no particular sex of dog I eat. I prefer dog meat to other meat such as beef, chicken or pork. I eat because I like it based on personal.’’

Also, a security expert and an indigene of Ekiti State, Idowu Bankole, said he had eaten dog meat once. He said that the taste was a bit close to goat meat.

Bankole added, “I am from Ekiti State but I was born and raised in Ondo town.”

An indigene of Gombe State, Rejoice Hussaini, who said she had been consuming dog meat for over 10 years, noted that only a few of her family members eat the meat.

Hussaini stated, “Consuming dog meat is a personal choice. Some of my family members detest the meat and some love it.’’

Despite Hussaini’s love for dog meat, she said she enjoyed consuming other animal meat.

She said, “I buy dog meat from the market. I prefer it to other animal meat and I eat meat from local dogs. There is no peculiarity in the sex of the animal when it is killed but they are usually grown dogs and not puppies.”

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