Bird Flu: Federal College Trains Oyo Poultry Farmers
TO curtail the scourge of bird flu, sound hygiene on animal farms, bio-security, movement restriction on the farm, provision of footbaths with disinfectants and personal hygiene of the poultry farmer are some of the ways Professor Isaac Adebayo, animal virology and immunology specialist at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, has recommended.
Adebayo said these while delivering a lecture at a one-day seminar on bird flu awareness at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology (FCAH&PT), Ibadan, last week, where over 300 poultry farmers and other stakeholders were trained on how to prevent and limit the spread of bird flu to their farms, following the confirmation by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, that the virus had spread to farms in 11 states of the federation.
In a release, Provost of the college, Dr. (Mrs.) ‘Funmilayo Adejinmi, said the one-day seminar was borne out of the passion of the college to play its corporate social responsibility role, and that it was strategic to prevention, tracking and curtailment of the virus, as Oyo State is the hub of poultry production in Nigeria. She expressed optimism that the seminar would help in nipping the crisis in the bud if farmers followed the recommended guidelines.
At the occasion, Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Professor Gbenga Oyeyemi, disclosed that Oyo State had recorded confirmed cases of the flu in some farms and live poultry markets within the Ibadan metropolis.
He revealed that samples brought from Bodija, Ojoo and Agbowo areas, as well as some farms at Egbeda area of the metropolis tested positive to Avian Influenza, urging farmers to be on the alert and report suspected cases to the appropriate quarters to curtail the spread.
Prof. Adebayo said there was no reason to panic, as infection in humans can be treated. He, however, harped on prevention of the spread from farm to farm and from birds to humans, as prevention is cheaper, safer and better than cure.
He also allayed the fear that consumption of eggs and poultry products could cause bird flu in humans, saying well-boiled eggs and well-cooked chicken could harbour no virus.
Representative of Animal Care Consult Ltd at the seminar, Mr. Daniel Ogunleke, speaking on bio-security tips on farms, said Avian Influenza is a very fragile virus easily destroyed with acidic pH, oxidizing agents, lipid solvents, disinfectants and high temperature.
He listed cleaning and disinfection, traffic control of visitors to farms, disinfection of farm foot wares, egg trays, farm vehicles, regular monitoring of birds; nutrition and stress management and feed mill sanitation as some of the tips farmers could employ to prevent the spread of the virus to their farms.
Meanwhile, Prof. Oyeyemi encouraged farmers to go on with their production with utmost vigilance, urging them to report any suspected case. He assured that the Federal Government is ready to compensate affected farmers immediately.