Bird Flu: Destroy Infected Farms, Pay Compensation, PAN Urges Govt

Bird Flu Costs Farmers In Bauchi 50,000 Birds

The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) says the only effective way to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza also called bird flu, killing the birds in some states is to destroy all the birds in infected farms.

The President of the association, Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim, in a telephone conversation with BizWatch Nigeria said the government would have to compensate the affected farmers with some amount of money.

According to him, the continuous spread of the disease is inevitable if this is not done.

He noted that this had been done before during the administration of firmer Presidnet, Olusegun Obasanjo and in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Avian Influenza are strains of the influenza virus that primarily infect birds, but can also spread to humans.

This type of flu is spreads by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).

READ ALSO: Kano Poultry Farmers Suffer N500 million Loss From Bird Flu

Symptoms begin within two to eight days, and are like the common flu. Cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath may occur.

ibrahim said, “It is apathetic that the Nigerian poultry farmer for the last 10 years has been facing one problem or the other. If we have a government, the most effective way to eradicate Avian Influenza is to cut the farm and destroy infected farms to prevent further spread of the disease. The government is not ready to pay compensation while in some other climes, the government pay.

“Obasanjo paid compensation during his tenure as president which encouraged farmers to go back into poultry farming. Buhari also paid compensation in 2016, about N1.9 billion.”

Ibrahim said the government had refused to destroy the birds, claiming there were no funds to pay compensation.

 On the otherhand, the PAN president said poultry farmers had been advised to intensify biosecurity on their farms, adding that restriction of movement of birds and disinfection of market was another way to stop the spread.

“We told them avian influenza is a recurring disease worldwide. And if we don’t want this continue, lets us develop a policy on serious biosecurity but we are not ready to do that,” Ibrahim added.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had confirmed two days ago that Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and the Niger States have reported human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 also called “Bird flu.”

The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said, “Seven states: Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Nasarawa and the Niger States have confirmed cases of Avian Influenza among poultry.

“Two states have reported seven cases among humans – Kano four and Plateau three. Only Kano, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe States have had human contacts of birds followed up,” he said.

According to him, of the 83 contacts reported, 27 contacts are from three Local Government Areas (LGAs); Nasarawa, Ungogo and Gwale in Kano State.

Meanwhile, the Kano State branch of the Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria has decried the loss of over N500 million following the outbreak of Avian Influenza also known as bird flu in the state.

The Chairman of the association, Mr. Umar Kibiya Usman, said they had incurred huge losses in the recent outbreak of the virus.

Usman said 223,695 chicken had been confirmed affected and depopulated, noting that each of the chicken costs not less than N1,800, and the amount of the loss is over N402 million.

He explained that apart from the confirmed number of chickens affected, which costs over N402 million, there are thousands that are yet to be confirmed, stressing that the amount of money loss could be over N500 million.

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