The Director General of The Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST) Zaira, Mr. Isuwa Adamu, today warned against the consumption of animal hides and skin locally known as Ponmo. According to the Director General, Ponmo is dangerous to health because it has no nutritional value and it has also been proven scientifically.
“In fact, it is not advisable for you to consume ponmo in the sense that some of the animals killed and used for ponmo actually have skin diseases.
“Some of the animals because of the ailments that they have gone through, are sometimes treated by way of injection with chemicals.
“People don’t allow these chemicals to complete its cycle and be removed from the body; they sometimes go ahead to kill these animals.
“So, if you consume the ponmo, the tendency is that you are consuming the chemicals directly because the skin part of the animal retains most of the harmful substances.
“Remember your skin is the major protective organ of your body and your skin harbours so many of the harmful things that are supposed to penetrate into your body.
The skin of animals’ harbours so many of harmful waste materials that the body secretes and boiling only cannot remove some of those wastes, he added.
He noted that the institute is presently putting up efforts to sensitise the public and advice governments on policies that will help to reduce the consumption of animal skin to the barest minimum.
According to him, ponmo consumption is a national and traditional issue that just putting up laws may not really help to stop it. He advised the government to come up with policies that could be enforced to reduce the consumption of hides and skin as meat substitute. And this would also enhance the quality and quantity of raw hides and skin that are available to meet the demands of the tanneries.