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Monday, February 16, 2015

Bird Flu Hits Bauchi

THE avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has hit three local government areas of Bauchi State with no fewer than 14,666 spices of birds affected by the disease out of which about 4,508 have so far been culled by government officials.The outbreak, according to the Director, Veterinary Services, in the state Ministry of Animal Resources and Nomadic Resettlement, Dr Bala Lucshi, who disclosed this to journalists on Sunday, in Bauchi, affected five farms in Bauchi, Katagum and Toro local government areas of the state.
Lucshi informed that the birds culled by officials from the ministry included chickens, turkeys and pigeons, adding that the outbreak was first recorded in the state at Baraji Farms in Magama Gumau town in Toro Local Government Area on January 28.According to him, reports of the disease had also been
received from two farms at Inkil in Bauchi Local Government Area and Azare, the headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area, informing that the ministry had promptly moved in with a view to ensuring that the disease was curtailed so as not to spread to other parts of the state.
The director stated that samples taken from the affected farms had been sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, Plateau State, for laboratory confirmation of the disease in the state. Lucshi stated that a 24-hour personal contact with the officials of the ministry on the field in the three affected local government areas had been established by the ministry.He added that the earlier ban placed on movement of poultry products in and out of the state was being enforced in order to ensure strict compliance, saying that surveillance rate by officials of the ministry had been heightened.He, however, advised people of the state to ensure that they properly cook their poultry products before eating them.Meanwhile, Lucshi has assured affected farmers who birds had been culled not to panic as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture would compensate for each of the birds culled.He then called on poultry farmers in the state to immediately report suspected cases of bird flu in their farms to the ministry so that prompt action would be taken by the state government.

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