Photograph — Punch

On Tuesday, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed the recent outbreak of a new strain of Avian Influenza virus, popularly known as bird flu, in Nigeria during a consultative meeting with commissioners for agriculture/livestock, states directors of veterinary services and major stakeholders in the poultry industry held in Abuja. According to Ogbeh, the virus has spread across 26 states including the Federal Capital Territory, with over 3.5 million birds affected.

According to Ogbeh, the federal government had provided disease containment materials, reviewed the national emergency preparedness plan on Avian Influenza, and enhanced the laboratory diagnostics capacity at the National Veterinary Research Institute in Plateau State, other measures were been put in place to address the situation with the allocation of quality grains to the Poultry Farmers Association to support its members across the country, and the payment of 707.67 million naira to 276 farmers as compensation.

“The Federal Government is determined to continue to work with state governments, PAN and other stakeholders in the poultry industry to come up with sustainable measures to prevent, control and eradicate this disease from our country within the shortest time possible. This is the major reason for our meeting here today,” Ogbeh said.

In a preventive measure, Nigeria’s neighbors have proposed a ban on poultry and poultry products from Nigeria.

Read more at Punch

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