Journal of Veterinary Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 460408, 10 pages
Participatory Epidemiology of Ethnoveterinary Practices Fulani Pastoralists Used to Manage Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia and Other Cattle Ailments in Niger State, Nigeria
N. B. Alhaji1,2 and O. O. Babalobi1
1Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2Public Health and Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria
Received 21 September 2014; Revised 14 December 2014; Accepted 24 January 2015
Academic Editor: Paola Paradies
Copyright © 2015 N. B. Alhaji and O. O. Babalobi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Ethnoveterinary practices are locally available and affordable to Fulani pastoralists in Niger State, Nigeria, to whom conventional veterinary services are often not readily available and are relatively expensive. This study was designed to identify and document medicinal plant and nonplant materials used by this group in the management of cattle diseases. Participatory rural appraisal tools of checklist, semistructured interview, probing, transect, and triangulations were used to assess Fulani pastoralists existing knowledge on traditional veterinary practices in nine pastoral communities spread across the state. Fifty medicinal materials and seven traditional preventive practices are in use against CBPP and other cattle disease conditions. Of these, 38 (76.0%) are medicinal plants and 12 (24.0%) are nonplant materials (edible earth materials and minerals). Family Fabaceae was most commonly mentioned while leaves were the most common parts used. Most of these materials are administered by drenching with few others mixed with feed. Proportions of plant parts used include leaves (47.4%), barks (31.6%), roots (10.6%), and 2.6% of each of rhizomes, fruits, seeds, and whole plants. Of recently used ingredients are kerosene and spent engine oil. Further research into the active ingredients of ethnoveterinary materials and dosages is necessary to guide their usage.
For many years stock raising has been an important part of livelihood and culture in Sub-Saharan Africa [1–3]. The economic burden of livestock diseases and the declining provision of conventional veterinary services in this continent have undermined the efficiency of livestock production, especially by Fulani pastoralists . Many people in developing countries still rely on medicinal plants and traditional healing practices for daily healthcare needs of their animals, in spite of the advancement in conventional medicine .
Conventional medical system, also called Western medicine, modern medicine, and biomedicine, used by most medical and veterinary doctors, focuses on disease as an enemy to be conquered. The conventional veterinary practitioner prescribes medications, uses the latest diagnostic tools, and follows peer-reviewed studies that could impact or change the way certain injuries or illnesses are treated. On the other hand holistic veterinary medicine includes such unconventional modalities as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, flower essences, raw diets, nutraceuticals (the use of concentrated doses of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to treat disease), Chinese medicine, and herbs [6, 7].
There is abundant undocumented traditional knowledge of medicinal plants used to treat diseases in most cultures . Different traditional healing practices worldwide are designed for either therapeutic or prophylactic use in human or animal diseases [9–11].
In Nigeria, pastoralists are known to treat animal diseases with herbs and other traditional medical practices before the advent of conventional medicine . Traditional medical and veterinary practices remain relevant and vital in almost all cultures in Nigeria due to absence or inadequate provision of modern medical services especially in hard-to-reach rural areas . Ethnoveterinary medical practice is widespread among pastoral herdsmen and village livestock keepers in northern Nigeria where most of the country’s livestock are concentrated . For most of these livestock owners, conventional veterinary inputs and services are not readily available and, where available, are relatively expensive. Therefore, they are left with traditional choices which are locally available and affordable, with the held belief that they are more efficacious .
In recognition of the fact that Fulani pastoralists possess considerable existing veterinary knowledge and traditional oral history of herbal and nonherbal remedies and their application in livestock disease management, veterinarians, recently, have intensified efforts towards harnessing this knowledge for authentication and preservation . There is no record so far giving ethnoveterinary practices documentation in Niger State and there is likelihood that the practices are at the verge of extinction, especially among the Fulani pastoralists.
This survey was therefore aimed at assessing, in nonexperimental way, the ethnoveterinary practices used by Fulani pastoralists in Niger State to traditionally manage contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and other common cattle disease conditions in their herds. Also, herbal and nonherbal materials are to be identified, validated by consensus, and documented to add useful new remedies to the traditional veterinary pharmacopoeia.