By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Following the outbreak of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Bauchi, the state government has called on poultry farmers to adhere strictly to the guidelines on marketing/ movement of poultry products, and general hygiene and consumption of wholesome poultry and poultry products.
The State Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, pharmacist Sama’ila Adamu Burga who made the call, said that seven states in the federation including Bauchi have from January this year to date been affected by resurgence of the disease
He gave Bauchi and Toro as two of the 20 LGAs that were badly affected by the bird flu with resultant loss of about 50, 000 birds at 5 and 4 farms in Toro and Bauchi respectively grappling with the disease, saying last Thursday alone 27, 000 birds were in Narabi village depopulated.
Burga said, “It is gladdening to state that, so far, many of our 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 NCDC where samples were collected, sent to laboratory and all the results turned out to be negative.
The commissioner therefore drew the attention of the public especially poultry farmers on the need to be proactive in maintaining high standard of bio security on their farms, as well as sourcing of poultry and poultry products from reliable and certified sources.
He revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture in Bauchi has over 130 qualified veterinary doctors spread across the twenty Local Government Areas of the state who are always ready to attend to complaints from poultry farmers, marketers and indeed the general public.
Burga similarly recalled the recent announcement by the Nigerian Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) of seven human cases in two states of Kano and Plateau neighbouring Bauchi, saying “All hands must be on deck to ensure that the present wave is brought to a stop, and prevent human infection in Bauchi state which can be a serious catastrophe”.
Commissioner Sama’ila Burga 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 of loss of jobs.
The commissioner who said that the disease which also has the ability to affect human beings and cause deaths, was in 2006 recorded at Sambawa farms in Kaduna state and later spread to other states in the federation, as it resurgence in 2007, 2015, 2019 and this year, 2021.
He noted with concern the devastation caused by the series of outbreak resulting in series loss of the sources of livelihood to many people along the value chain, assuring that his ministry is working round the clock in conjunction with stakeholders to ensure that such outbreaks are not only contained but stopped in Bauchi State.