‘Government has not informed PAN of bird flu outbreaks’
The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has said it is not officially informed that there is an outbreak of bird flu in any part of the country.President of the association, Mr Ibrahim Mam, said for bird flu to be confirmed, samples have to be tested and affirmed by the the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, Plateau State.
The institute would then brief the minister of agriculture, who in turn will call all the stakeholders, including PAN, to announce the outbreak, measures to be taken on control, treatment and prevention of its spread.
Mam said neither the institute nor the government had informed PAN and other stakeholders on the outbreaks.The line of reporting is to avoid raising false alarms, for there are various poultry diseases with similar symptoms with bird flu.
Raising unnecessary alarms on bird flu outbreaks, Mam added, would have negative impacts on poultry consumption, which would complicate the stress of the industry as a result of uncompetitive cost of production. The Chief Veterinary Officer of Plateau State, Dr Spak Shaset, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jos, that the outbreak had affected two farms in the Jos North and Jos South local government areas of the state.
He also disclosed that more than 3,900 birds were destroyed; 2,900 from the farm in Jos South and 1,000 in the farm in Jos North.“Without hesitation, we went and depopulated the farms to avoid further spread of the disease to other farms,” he said.
By virtue of the Agricultural Research Institute Decree 35 of 1975, the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) has its mandate as to conduct research into all aspects of animal diseases, their treatment and control.Others are to develop and produce animal vaccines, sera and biological, to meet the national demand; to provide surveillance and diagnosis of animal diseases; to introduce exotic stock for improved egg, meat and milk production; to provide Extension Services to poultry and livestock farmers and to train intermediate manpower in veterinary laboratory technology and animal health and production technology.