AVIAN INFLUENZA RAVAGES A FARM IN EBONYI
Ebonyi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has killed and buried about one thousand five hundred birds from a poultry farm in Ugwuachara Layout of Abakaliki where a case of avian influenza was detected.
Our Correspondent, Amechi Odoh reports that the Commissioner in-charge of the Ministry, Mr. Uchenna Orji supervised the destruction of the birds and fumigation of the farm.
Mr. Orji who led a team of Veterinary Doctors to the farm for the exercise explained that state government had declared a state of emergency on the case as part of measures to check further spread of the virus.
Mr. Orji stated that the Ministry had embarked on the sensitization of poultry farmers to monitor their birds and commended the owners of the farm where the case was detected for being prompt in alerting the state government.
“As a matter of fact, we have declared a state of emergency on that disease. And so what we are doing is to really alert members of the public, whenever they see any bird having any form of disease whatsoever, they have to raise alarm. They have to tell us, so that we come and see and confirm to know whether they have been affected by the avian Influenza.”
The Director Veterinary Services in the state, Dr. Ibiam Okoro noted that the virus had been traced to chickens imported into the farm during Christmas celebration and stressed the need for farmers to take into consideration such case while transacting business.
“the symptoms in the birds, in the chicken are comb, wattle … there would be some respiratory problems, labour in breathing, is a nervous problem that a poultry farmer can see.”
The Desk Officer Avian Influenza Control Project in the State, Dr Rita Okoro said that her office had stepped up surveillance on farms in the state but regretted that some farmers were yet to cooperate with her team.
“Let our people report, you get registered, you follow the protocol, and in due course you get your money.”
She emphasized that the Federal government would compensate poultry farmers who suffer loses in their businesses as a result of avian influenza.
The Supervisor of the farm, Miss Victoria Chukwu lamented that the development had subjected them to untold economic hardship and appealed for government’s intervention.