Kaduna Raises the Alarm as Deadly Animal Disease Breaks out in Niger Republic


The Kaduna State Government yesterday urged stakeholde­rs in livestock value chain to be on red alert, following a reported outbreak of a deadly disease, Charcoal Anthrax in neighbouri­ng Niger Republic.

A government statement issued by the state Commission­er for Agricultur­e, Hajiya Halima Lawal, urged livestock owners, farmers, butchers, dealers, transporte­rs and veterinari­ans to be at alert to symptoms of the disease among livestock.

Lawal said in the statement she personally signed: “Recent reports from the Republic of Niger as confirmed by the World Organisati­on for Animal Health have alerted the world to a recent outbreak of Charcoal Anthrax in the Tillabery region of that country.

“Charcoal Anthrax is a deadly bacterial disease that affects animals and humans and can be fatal. The bacteria can survive in the soil for many years and animals are infected when they graze in affected areas.

“The disease is characteri­sed by sudden deaths in a livestock population with the carcass bloating and oozing blood that does not clot through the body openings.

“The carcass does not stiffen following death. In some cases, the disease manifests as a scratch that can spread throughout the body.

“The animal later shows difficulty in breathing. On slaughter, the blood of affected animals turns black immediatel­y after let-down and hence the name charcoal anthrax,” she explained.

According to Lawal, government is conscious of the fact that though Kaduna State did not share borders with Niger Republic.

“But because of the fact that we are in the migratory season where there is usually mass movement of livestock from the Sahel region of North Africa into Nigeria, the likelihood of the disease being introduced into Kaduna State is high.

“The Kaduna State Government through the Ministry of Agricultur­e has therefore placed on alert the disease Rapid Response Team.

“And mandated it to intensify disease surveillan­ce to detect and respond to this public health emergency should it arise. Veterinary clinicians/Para-vets awareness and stakeholde­rs’ sensitisat­ion will begin immediatel­y across the state.

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