As the implementation of the 2 years Vulture project funded by the USFWS is progressing, the National Association of Nigeria Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP) are advocating for the adoption of sustainable alternatives to vulture in belief-based use. This agreement was reached last week at a one-day Stakeholders Meeting with the Ogun State Chapter of the Association which was held in Abeokuta on 13th August 2019.
According to Chief Soyoye (Aniyikaiye), President of NANTMP Ogun State chapter, the Association is committed to sensitizing its members across the State on desisting from using vulture parts in trado-medicine practices.
They also appealed that the government should strengthen the enforcement of existing laws and place the use of the species under Felonious Act, as this will strengthen the enforcement of the ban and reduce vulture trade.
Conservation Desk Officer, Ogun State Ministry of Forest, Mr. Ojelade in his response said that lack of law that guides against the trade in vulture use is promoting the illegal trade. He further informed the meeting that Ogun State Government has recently reviewed its Wildlife Laws with the technical support of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation. The draft Wildlife Laws is waiting to be passed by the State House of Assembly. This was necessary because of the outdated nature of the State Wildlife Laws which were not as punitive as possible.
NCF Representative, Mr. Solomon Adefolu delivered a presentation to sensitize the group on the current vulture crisis, threats, NCF’s sensitisation/awareness effort, baseline data gathering, how trado-healers association can assist in combating illegal trade in vulture and their parts.
Among the participants are the Hunter Association in Ogun and Oyo States, Trado-Healers Association across each LGAs in Ogun State, Herb/Wildlife Traders Association Ogun and Oyo States.
A similar stakeholders meeting took place in May 2019, in Kano State where about 30 members of NANTMP, Kano State Chapter present advocated for the promotion and adoption of plant-based alternatives to vulture in belief-base use.