The Federal Government on Friday alerted members of the public to the outbreak of Avian Influenza, popularly called Birdflu in the federal capital territory, FCT, and six states of the federation.
The Director of Veterinary and Pest Control Services in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Gideon Mshelbwala, made this known while meeting with state Commissioners of Agriculture in Abuja.
He listed the states affected by the outbreak to include: Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Nasarawa, Plateau, FCT and lastly Kaduna, which reported a case in May 30.
Mshelbwala said that the disease had spread across 26 states of the federation and the FCT since it started in 2008 affecting 800 farms in no fewer than 123 local government areas.
Noting that there were no scientifically proven vaccines for birdflu, he disclosed that the Federal Government was adopting quarantine, movement control, stamping out, decontamination and bio-security measures to curb the spread.
The director expressed regret over the poor bio-security practices by some poultry farmers, stating that it was the major reason for the continuous spread of the disease.
He said the Federal Government has paid over N674 million in compensations to 269 farmers across the affected states.
“Our national action plan encourages proper regulation of the poultry industry and enforcement of annual registration of all actors along the poultry value chain including farmers, traders, egg merchants and feed millers.
“It also encourages the creation of veterinary extension services to facilitate the control and proper inspection of poultry and poultry products,” Mshelbwala said.
He stated that the way forward to the containment of the disease was to ban importation of poultry and products, quarantine and bio-security measures, among others.
The director however warned poultry farmers against illegal vaccination of birds, identifying such measure as a deadly alternative to the control of the disease.