The Veterinary Services Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Delta state has urged poultry farmers to adhere strictly to rules and regulations in other curb the continuous spread of the deadly Avian Influenza disease commonly known as bird flu.
Speaking at a one day awareness creation and enlightenment campaign organized in Warri South and Warri South-West local government areas of the state, Dr. Uguru Oroghene said, “With the outbreak of Avian Influenza, the world is currently facing diverse challenges of which the poultry industry is not an exception.
“In Delta State, poultry farming has contributed immensely to food security, employment creation and poverty alleviation.
“Recently, there has been reported and confirmed outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird flu) with devastating effects in certain poultry farms notably in Delta Central Senatorial District.
“This Re-emergence has caused quantum economic losses with far-reaching impacts such as unemployment, food insecurity and possible threat to food safety and public health regardless of the fact that Covid-19 pandemic had taken at negative toil on global economy, human health and food security.
“There is urgent need to mitigate these outbreaks of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in our state by embarking on effective means of prevention and control with the relevant stakeholders which is the reason why we are here today. For a stitch in time saves nine.
“Avian Influenza (bird flu) can be prevented and controlled through adequate implementation of vital biosecurity guidelines which is a set of simple hygienic principles and farm practices designed to reduce the chances of diseases getting into our farms through people, animal, vehicles, environmental management.
Narrating their ordeal, chairman of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Delta State Chapter, Chief Alfred Mrakpor said, Poultry Farmers in Delta state have lost four of their members due to the outbreak of this Bird flu and the huge lost.
“I am affected, others are affected both big and small farms and my advice to farmers is for them to beef up their biosecurity, but that is not enough because the pandemic is everywhere
“We appealing for assistance from the government, they should not be insensitive to our plight because we are dying in silence.
“Avian Influenza has wiped out poultry farms in Delta state, in my farm I have lost over 53,700 birds to Avian influenza in three weeks and that runs into billions, and more are counting.