FG urges public, private sector co-operation to stop bird flu
The Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Abdulganiyu Abubakar made the call recently while giving his opening remarks at the just concluded Sensitization/Awareness Workshop for Stakeholders on Preventive Measures against Avian Influenza held at the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority.
Abubakar said it is sad to note that after about eight weeks of non-report of suspicious of the flu nationwide, outbreak were recently recorded in both Lagos and Oyo states and incursions into Abia and Enugu states.
He said the situation is not only worrisome and unacceptable but must be urgently redressed in view of the grave consequences of these outbreaks on the already traumatized poultry industry and the nation’s food security.
The Director added: “It is thus imperative that concrete steps are taken to reduce the socio-economic impact of bird flu and improve the well being of our people.
I am aware that participants for this workshop are important stakeholders drawn from both the private and public sectors. This I believe will foster the much-needed spirit of public-private partnership and collaboration in the current fight against the on-going threat of bird flu.
Earlier, Director of Veterinary Services, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Dr. Ganiu Adams, said education on bird flu remains one of the critical and central strategies of control of the disease worldwide.
Adams said most of the poultry production practice and poultry trade are at a very high risk of being affected by the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, adding that very few commercial farms and live birds markets practice adequate biosecurity measures. “It is therefore appropriate for all stakeholders be informed of the importance of observing strict biosecurity.”
He said Lagos State is very vulnerable and always at a risk of bird flu infection through birds being brought from other parts of the country as the state accounts for over 200 poultry markets and serves as the most popular outlet for poultry and allied products from different parts of the nation. “Since the beginning of the month of July 2015, streams of reports of high moralities of birds in various poultry farms across Lagos state have been pouring into the Avian Influenza desk office.
So far 20 farms in Lagos have been confirmed positive for bird flu infection following laboratory examination carried out by the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State.” “The current scourge has led to the loss of 79,134 birds with an estimated worth of over N85 million.
This excludes the stock of farmers who did not make official report to the state. To control the spread of the disease, the veterinary department depopulated 71,026 birds,” he lamented.