Bird flu: Gov­ern­ment in­ten­si­fies sen­si­ti­sa­tion on bio-se­cu­rity

Daily Trust - - AGRICULTURE - By Sun­day Michael Ogwu, La­gos

To tackle the rav­aging bird flu in the coun­try, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has in­ten­si­fied cam­paign on the im­por­tance of bio-se­cu­rity. Speak­ing at a sen­si­ti­sa­tion work­shop for stake­hold­ers on pre­ven­tive mea­sures against avian in­fluen­zer in La­gos, Dr Ga­niu Adams, Di­rec­tor of Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices, La­gos State Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Co­op­er­a­tives, lamented the poor us­age of bio-se­cu­rity by poul­try farm­ers, adding that there is the need for proper sen­si­ti­sa­tion.

“Very few com­mer­cial poul­try farm­ers prac­tise ad­e­quate bio-se­cu­rity mea­sures. It is, there­fore, im­por­tant for all stake­hold­ers of the poul­try in­dus­try to be in­formed of the im­por­tance of ob­serv­ing strict bio-se­cu­rity.

“The cur­rent scourge has led to the loss of over 79, 000 birds, with an es­ti­mated worth of over N85 mil­lion. To con­trol the spread, the vet­eri­nary depart­ment de­pop­u­lated over 71, 000 birds. And these fig­ures ex­clude the stock of farm­ers who did not make of­fi­cial re­port to the min­istry,” he said.

Dr Ga­niu, how­ever, raised con­cern on the trans-bound­ary vi­ral zoonotic dis­ease (a range of dis­ease pathogens such as viruses, bac­te­ria, fungi and par­a­sites known to in­fect hu­mans) with far-reach­ing con­se­quences for the hu­man health.

Tak­ing par­tic­i­pants through bio-se­cu­rity mea­sures, Dr An­zaku of the Fed­eral Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment (FMARD), ad­vo­cated ef­fec­tive waste dis­posal and re­moval of used lit­ters from site, which he said was es­sen­tial, adding that the use of a mul­ti­pur­pose broad spec­trum viru­ci­dal and bac­te­ri­ci­dal dis­in­fec­tants are ca­pa­ble of deal­ing with gross or­ganic chal­lenges.

“Peo­ple such as em­ploy­ees, truck driv­ers, vac­ci­na­tion crews and vets are the most im­por­tant an­i­mate fac­tors. Staff move­ments should be as lim­ited as pos­si­ble, par­tic­u­larly where the dis­ease sit­u­a­tion on a site has been con­firmed,” he said.

An­zaku fur­ther stressed that wher­ever pos­si­ble, ve­hi­cles should be ex­cluded from the site. “Those ve­hi­cles which must en­ter should be sprayed for dis­in­fec­tion on the wheels and wheel arches. All visi­tors must ob­serve stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures on ve­hi­cle cleans­ing and dis­in­fec­tion.’’

Also speak­ing on pre­ven­tive mea­sures against bird flu in La­gos, Dr Ab­dul­ga­niu Abubakar, di­rec­tor, Fed­eral Depart­ment of Vet­eri­nary and Pest Con­trol Ser­vices of the FMARD said: “This sit­u­a­tion is not only wor­ri­some and un­ac­cept­able but must be ur­gently re­dressed in view of the grave con­se­quence of these out­breaks on al­ready trau­ma­tised poul­try in­dus­try in par­tic­u­lar and food se­cu­rity in gen­eral.”

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