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FG raises alarm over fresh outbreak of bird flu in seven states

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FG raises alarm over fresh outbreak of bird flu in seven states

The Federal Government on Friday alerted the public of the outbreak of Avian Influenza or Bird flu in seven states of the country.

The States affected by the outbreak are FCT, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Kaduna, which reported a case on May 30.

The Director of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Gideon Mshelbwala, raised the alert at a meeting with state Commissioners of Agriculture in Abuja.

Since the bird flu outbreak in 2008, the disease had spread across 26 states of the federation and the FCT, affecting 800 farms in no fewer than 123 local government areas, Mshelbwala said.

He said Federal Government was adopting quarantine, movement control, stamping out, decontamination and bio-security measures to curb the spread since there were no scientifically proven vaccines for bird flu.

Mshelbwala added that the major reason for the continuous spread of the disease is regrettably because of the poor bio-security practices by some poultry farmers.

According to him, the Federal Government has paid over N674 million in compensations to 269 farmers across the affected states.

“Our national action plan encourages proper regulation of the poultry industry and enforcement of annual registration of all actors along the poultry value chain including farmers, traders, egg merchants and feed millers.

“It also encourages the creation of veterinary extension services to facilitate the control and proper inspection of poultry and poultry products,’’ he said.

The director added that the ban on importation of poultry and their products, quarantine and bio-security measures, among others are ways forward to the containment of the disease.

He, however, warned poultry farmers against illegal vaccination of birds, saying that it was a deadly alternative to the control of the disease.

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