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Step up bio-security as bird flu hits Bauchi, Plateau

An outbreak of Bird flu also known as Avian Influenza has been confirmed in Bauchi and Plateau states.

The Director of the Federal Department Of Veterinary and Pest Control Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Olaniran Alabi told Daily Trust in Abuja that the federal government in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations has dispatched officers to the affected two states.

The team of experts has been dispatched with FOA Supporting. They are already in the field carrying out detail investigations and putting in all the necessary control measures.

“I have not gotten any report as to whether it has gone beyond those two states. The team that we send to the field one of the things they will be doing is also to determine the extent of the problem.  They will tell us the extent of the problem whether is beyond what the state has reported.  They just started the investigation and we are yet to receive feedback from them.

“We have also supported with biosecurty materials we got from FAO in putting control measures to contain the disease,” he said.

In Jos, Dr Spak Shaset, the Chief Veterinary Officer of the state, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Jos, that the outbreak had affected two farms in Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas Plateau state, killing at least 3,900 birds.

“Sometime in January, when we heard of an outbreak of the dreaded disease in some parts of Bauchi State, we knew Plateau was at risk.

“I immediately summoned our divisional health officers in the 17 councils, and in less than 72 hours after we met, the report got to us of suspected cases in some farms in the state.

“We immediately swung into action and took samples from the farms to our labs and it was confirmed it is bird flu.

“Without hesitation, we went and depopulated the farms to avoid further spread of the disease to other farms.

“More than 3,900 birds were destroyed; 2,900 from the farm in Jos South and 1,000 in the farm in Jos North.”

Shaset said the two farms were decontaminated, disinfected and quarantined, to avoid further spread to nearby farms and have other poultry farmers incur losses.

The official said the government had taken positive and stringent steps to avert further spread of the disease to other areas of the state.

Shaset charged poultry farmers and live bird marketers to step up bio-security and hygiene measures within and around their farms and markets.

He advised Plateau residents to avoid the sale, slaughtering and consumption of sick and dead birds, to avoid being infected.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Dr Anallo S Akpa has advised farmers to step up bio-security in their farms.

He enjoys them to prevent unnecessary movement of unauthorized persons, and materials in and out of their farms adding that farmers should be vigilant at all times.

Although official of Poultry Association of Nigeria and the federal government are assessing and watching the situation closely but did not give the actual numbers of farmers or birds so far affected.

SOURCE: DAILY TRUST

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