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Poultry farmers lose 50,000 to Bird Flu

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• Kill 27,000 To Curb Spread

Poultry farmers in Bauchi State are counting their losses as Avian Influenza (bird flu) outbreak killed 50,000 birds, while 27,000 of them were deliberately slaughtered to prevent the spread of the disease.

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sama’ila Adamu Burga, who made this known to newsmen, yesterday, said Bauchi and Toro councils were badly hit by the bird flu.

The government called on poultry farmers to adhere strictly to the guidelines on marketing, movement of poultry products, general hygiene, consumption of wholesome poultry and poultry products.

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Burga said seven states, including Bauchi, are suffering from the disease. “It is gladdening to state that, so far, many poultry industry stakeholders, such as poultry owners/workers, my field officers and live bird marketers, were screened through a joint exercise between my ministry, Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) where samples were collected, sent to laboratory and all the results turned out to be negative.”

He revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture in Bauchi has over 130 qualified veterinary doctors spread across 20 councils, who are always ready to attend to complaints from poultry farmers, marketers and the general public.

The commissioner described Avian influenza as a highly infectious zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans, saying the disease is known to have caused economic losses either directly through loss of birds and their products or directly through losses along value chain with attendant consequences being loss of jobs.

Burga, who noted that the disease also has ability to affect human beings and cause deaths, said it was first recorded at Sambawa farms, Kaduna State in 2006and later spread to other states in the federation. The disease was also noticed in 2007, 2015, 2019 and this year, 2021.

He assured that his ministry is working round the clock in conjunction with stakeholders to ensure that such outbreaks are not only contained, but stopped in the state.

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