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Sokoto State disinfects poultry farms against bird flu

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Sokoto State government has started the disinfection of poultry farms and has revived diseases reporting desks to tackle a possible spread of bird flu to the state.

Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries Development, Prof. Abdulkadir Junaidu, made the declaration in Sokoto on Wednesday when he spoke with newsmen.

Junaidu said while no case of bird flu had been reported in the state, reports reaching it from across the country and from neighbouring states necessitated the steps taken.

“Twenty-seven states and 85 local government areas are already affected across the federation in 382 outbreaks leading to the destruction of 1.8 million birds.

“Bird flu is a disease of public importance with serious economic implications,’’ he said.

The commissioner said the exercise had so far covered 20 large-scale poultry farms in the state, live birds markets, abattoirs and other places that could be impacted.

He noted that the infection could result on economic risks because owners of poultry farms might be out of business while auxiliary workers and markets could be endangered.

“Each chicken can be valued at between N2,500 and N3,000 and considering the number of chicken that could be affected, poultry farm owners could suffer huge losses.

“The disinfection effort is to ensure that state is protected and can contain an outbreak. The state has transported samples to Diseases Diagnostic Centre in Vom, Jos, on eight occasions and results were all negative ,’’ the commissioner said.

Junaidu advised poultry farm owners to register with statutory government agencies to benefit from possible government support and compensation interventions.

The commissioner said online platform for surveillance and reporting of issues had also been established across the 23 local government areas of the state for quick intervention.

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