Kebbi State government has said that the strange poultry killer disease in the state is not avian influenza, popularly known as bird flu, that wreaks havoc on farms in parts of the country. Daily Trust had reported the outbreak of a strange disease in a backyard farm belonging to one Amina Abdullahi in Birnin-Kebbi who lost 150 broilers, two turkeys and 11 local chickens during the outbreak of bird flu in many other states across the country.
A report by the director, Veterinary Public Health, State Ministry of Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries, Dr A.U. Ambursa, addressed to the director, Department of
Livestock and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, a copy of which was made available to Daily Trust said from the symptoms exhibited, the chicken infected must have died of Gumboro disease.
The report reads: “The attention of the Department of Veterinary Public Health of the Ministry of Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries was drawn to a February 19th 2015 newspaper report of a suspected strange killer disease of poultry in the state. “Reacting immediately to the report, the director of the ministry and two veterinary field officers from the Department of Federal Livestock in Kebbi State traced the house of Hajiya Amina.
“Based on our interview with the farmer we made the following observations: that the farm is a backyard poultry farm; the incident happened between the 2nd and 3rd week of Dec. 2014; the history of vaccination of the chickens revealed that only initial lasota vaccine was administered. “The farmer visited our veterinary clinics for assistance after almost all the birds had died; and one of our veterinary doctors at the clinic said the chicken must have died of Gumboro disease (another poultry disease killer).”
The report continued: “As at the time we visited her house there was no any live chicken remaining to warrant us taking sample for further confirmatory diagnosis; even though we saw two local chickens and turkeys in the house showing no sign of ill health.”It further stated that the case in question was also reported to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture as a case of Gumboro disease “and not avian influenza as suspected in the newspaper report. “I want to state that to date there is no any confirmatory case of avian influenza in the state,” the report emphasised. But the victim, Amina Abdullahi, when contacted, debunked claim by the ministry saying, “it is not true that I only went to the vet clinic when almost all the chickens were affected.
“Also, three teams from both state and federal ministries only visited my house after the last newspaper report,” she said. “They asked us to close down the poultry and promised to return the next day. But, up till now, we have not seen them. “They promised to come and clear the place and disinfect it, but they failed. So, if this was bird flu, the whole poultry in the town would have been affected because of the slow response of the authorities,” she lamented.