Lagos raises awareness on Charcoal Anthrax disease
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal has urged livestock owners, farmers, butchers, livestock sellers and veterinarians in the state to be at alert to any sign of Charcoal Anthrax in their livestock.
Lawal who disclosed this when he met members of the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association, on the reported outbreak of Charcoal Anthrax in sheep and cattle in the Republic of Niger further urged them to report any unexplained sudden deaths in livestock to the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to him, the reports would help the state government carry out a quick and appropriate investigation with a view to instituting all necessary control measures, adding that private veterinarians should also assist with investigation and prevention activities.
The Commissioner explained that Charcoal Anthrax is an infectious zoonotic disease of livestock manifesting either on the skin, as a scratch progressing into a sepsis or as a pulmonary infection contracted by inhalation of the causative micro-organisms.
He added that the disease occurs directly or indirectly through contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products respectively, in human beings, hence the need to take precautionary measures.
“It is essential that if livestock die suddenly and without an obvious cause, livestock owners and veterinarians are enjoined to immediately report any suspected case of anthrax or unexplained sudden death of livestock to the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture or the nearest veterinary office or call 08023191180 or 08023427594.” Lawal noted.
He said the Charcoal Anthrax is well known to occur intermittently in grazing livestock and they usually contact the disease through the swallowing and inhaling of the anthrax spores, which are odourless, colourless and tasteless, stressing that the disease could also affect humans.
The Commissioner added that though the environment is not endemic for the disease and that no incidence of the disease has been reported in recent times, he said it is reasonable to prevent the disease from entering into the country and indeed the state.
He therefore urged all the livestock farmers to take necessary precaution to prevent the incursion of the disease into the country, adding that the state government has already constituted Rapid Response Teams that would react and respond to any case of an outbreak.