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Bird Flu 31 farms closed down, 90,000 birds destroyed in Plateau

Government is not helping the issue; the outstanding compensation due to farmers affected in 2015 is contributing greatly to the spread of the disease.

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Bird flu play

Bird flu

(Sundiata Post)

The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in Plateau said on Monday that 31 farms had been closed down in the state following a resurgence of the avian influenza, also known as bird flu.

Mr John Dasar, the association’s chairman in the state, confirmed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.

Dasar said over 90, 000 birds had so far been killed as a result of the disease.

According to him, the recent outbreak of the disease has done a lot of damage to many poultry farmers in the state.
He lamented that farmers affected by the outbreak of the flu in the state in 2015 had not been paid by government.

"Plateau is hub of the poultry industry in Nigeria, owing to the fact that our products are unique and that is why people come from different parts of the country to get eggs and chicken here.

"Unfortunately, the outbreak of avian influenza has done a lot of harm to the industry in the state. You can imagine that within just one month, we lost 70,000 birds.

"Which ones will then produce the eggs and other poultry products that are in high demand at the moment?

"Government is not helping the issue; the outstanding compensation due to farmers affected in 2015 is contributing greatly to the spread of the disease.

"Most farmers rush to sell infected birds, in order to reduce their losses,’’ he said.

Dasar explained that bird flu had remained a major problem of the poultry industry, not only in the state but the country in general and called on government to support the industry.

"When I hear government talking about agriculture and I do not see the support to the poultry industry, a major sub-sector, then I say the journey has just begun,’’ he said.

Dasar, however, expressed optimism that the spread of the disease would be contained following strident measures being taken by government and relevant stakeholders.

He said most farmers had been proactive about biosecurity measures and had complied with government directives on the sale of infected birds in the markets.

The chairman noted that many people no longer patronise bird sellers as they now consume meat from other animals, which they considered safer.

He called on farmers and the general public to report any suspected case of avian influenza to the appropriate authority

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