The Kano branch of the Poultry Farmers’ Association of Nigeria says its members lost over N500 million to the recent outbreak of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, in the state.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had confirmed the outbreak in seven states on Tuesday.
Speaking with reporters in Kano on Wednesday, Umar Kibiya, chairman of the association, said 223,695 birds were affected, noting that each costs not less than N1,800.
He also said apart from the confirmed number of chickens affected, there are thousands that are yet to be confirmed.
“At least, 223,695 chickens have been affected so far. They have been depopulated. This is worth over N402 million. There are also some that are not confirmed. They run into hundreds of thousands. So, the amount of the loss is over N500 million,” he said.
“We, therefore, urge the state government to be up and doing to mitigate the outbreak of this disease. We know the government is doing its best, but we appeal for more.
“Government should further enlighten and educate poultry farmers on how to protect their birds from being affected by this disease.
“Fumigation and disinfection should be sustained at the live-bird markets and other places.”
Bello Bala, director of veterinary services in the Kano state ministry of agriculture and natural resources, also confirmed the outbreak, saying the government got the report of the index case from a man who brought his ailing bird for diagnosis.
Bala explained that when a sample was taken to the national veterinary research institute in Jos, Plateau state, it returned positive for avian influenza.
The director said the ministry alerted stakeholders, and took necessary action by disinfecting farms and live-bird markets in about eight areas in Kano metropolis, and other places where poultry activities take place.
Bala said no fewer than 40 farms were affected but added that the federal ministry of agriculture has expressed a willingness to compensate some of the farmers.
He, however, urged farmers to be vigilant and report any suspicious cases to the ministry.