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Ahead of the curve: proactive measures for disease outbreak prevention

Animals play an important role in the economy of Nigeria. It is estimated that about 17% of the country's agricultural GDP comes from the livestock sector and 5% of the national GDP. This includes the production of meat, milk, eggs, and hides and skins. The livestock sector is considered an important contributor to the country's agricultural economy, providing employment and income for many rural households. 

The health of these animals is crucial for the livelihoods of farmers and the country as a whole. One way to ensure the health of livestock is through animal traceability, which can prevent disease outbreaks and improve disease detection.

Animal traceability is the process of tracking the movement and history of individual animals from birth to slaughter.  This can be done through the use of identification tags, such as forgery-proof ear tags, cattle passports, and digital technology. These tags or devices are used to record information about the animal, such as its breed, age, and medical history.

Championing the course of Animal traceability in Nigeria is the National Identification and Traceability System (NAITS). The NAITS is a comprehensive animal information management system that utilizes forgery-proof ear tags, cattle passports combined with digital technology for identifying and tracing livestock across Nigeria.

One of the major benefits NAITS is that it can help to prevent disease outbreaks. By tracking the movement of animals, it is possible to quickly identify the source of a disease outbreak and take steps to contain it. For example, if a disease outbreak is identified in a herd of cattle, the movement of that herd can be traced back to where the animals came from, and any other herds that may have been exposed can be quickly identified and quarantined. Ranch.ID provides real time capturing of an animal’s gender, breed and overall health condition through its app-Ranch.ID.

Animal traceability can also improve disease detection. When an animal becomes sick, it can be quickly identified and isolated to prevent the spread of the disease to other animals. Additionally, the medical history of the animal can be accessed through the NAITS Ranch.ID app to determine if the animal has been exposed to the disease before, and if so, what treatment was used. This information can be used to determine the best course of treatment for the current illness.

Another benefit of NAITS is that it can help to improve the overall health of livestock. By tracking the movement and medical history of animals, farmers can identify patterns of disease and take steps to prevent them. For example, if a particular disease is found to be more common in a certain area or among a certain breed of animal, farmers can take steps to reduce the risk of exposure, such as moving their herds to a different area or switching to a different breed of animal.

In conclusion, animal traceability is an important tool for preventing disease outbreaks and improving disease detection in livestock in Nigeria. By tracking the movement and medical history of animals through tools provided by NAITS, farmers can identify patterns of disease, take steps to prevent outbreaks, and quickly isolate and treat sick animals. This can help to improve the overall health of livestock, and in turn, the livelihoods of farmers and the economy of Nigeria.