Following reports of the Avian Influenza (bird flu) in two states, Lagos and Kano, the President, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, has called on poultry farmers in the country to step up measures to curtail the spread of the bird disease.
He said this while briefing press men in Lagos on Monday, where he added that there had been unconfirmed reports of the occurrence of the disease in the third state.
The President said the suspected cases were under investigation, stressing that the association was working assiduously to ensure that the disease was curtailed and possibly eradicated.
Oduntan said, “Out of the 120 million estimated poultry production in Nigeria, only 2,500 birds, which is 0.0021 per cent, were affected and they have been stamped out. There have been speculation of the disease in poultry markets in three other states, but they haven’t been confirmed.
“There has been no report of the disease in commercial farms, only in small backyard farms in rural areas.
“Avian Influenza is a notifiable disease of global importance. Even if only one farm (or one bird) is affected in a country, the veterinary authorities of that country have a duty to notify the Organisation of International Epizootics of such an incidence. The Nigerian government has kept faith with this obligation by promptly reporting the outbreak that occurred in a small farm in Kano State.”
He however assured Nigerians that steps were being taken to limit the spread of the disease to avert the risk of public health and avoid economic loss to farmers.
Odutan advised farmers to tighten up bio security measures to arrest the spread of the disease, saying the association had worked on necessary measures to be taken on all farms across the country to curtail further spread.
“With all these in mind, we call on Nigerians to be assured that poultry products are safe and wholesome,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President, Nigerian Veterinary Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Dr. Mobolaji Alao, enjoined Nigerians, who noticed symptoms of the disease in any area, to report the case immediately.