Bauchi – Following the outbreak of the Avian Influenza (Bird flu) in at least 10 states in Nigeria’s northern region, the Bauchi state government said Friday that it has placed a ban on movement of poultry and poultry products into the state from states battling to contain the outbreak of the disease.
An official of the State Avian Influenza Control Programme, Dr Ibrahim Bello, who announced the ban while speaking with news men in the the state said: “The Ministry (for Animal Resources and Nomadic Resettlement) has banned the movement of poultry especially from these three states that have recorded outbreaks.
“We are now making efforts to reactivate our control posts and inspection points across the major highways in and out of the state.
“The ministry is trying now to go round to sensitise the chicken sellers in their various markets and to go out with pamphlets to distribute to the general public just to create awareness.”
Bello said although the state had not recorded any case of Bird Flu, the ministry had put in place some structures in case of any eventuality.
He said that the ministry was now trying to resuscitate the State Technical Committee on Bird Flu and the State Rapid Response Team in anticipation of possible outbreak.
Bello said that the veterinary officers in all the 20 local government areas of the state had also been put on alert.
“We had stakeholders meeting with them and we informed them of the situation in the country as far as Bird Flu is concerned and we tried to update them on movement and control of poultry and poultry products within their domains.
“We also told farmers on the need to improve sanitation and security on their farms so that they don’t allow infections get into their farms. We are trying to sensitise bird vendors and people that roast chickens by the road sides, the restaurateurs preparing pepper soap for the public to make sure that they handle poultry and poultry products with caution.”
He urged farmers in the state to keep new birds away from their farms pending the time the scourge will be curbed and urged consumers to avoid sick birds.
The desk officer recalled that not less than 75 farmers were affected while over 350,000 chickens were destroyed between 2006 and 2008 during the last outbreak of disease in the state. (NAN)