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Ogbeh puts poultry farmers on alert over bird flu outbreak

*Says no vaccine to cure virus

By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA— THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, yesterday, put poultry farmers across the country on alert over the recent outbreak of bird flu in Kano State.

Ogbeh said poultry farmers should apply preventive measures to curtail any penetration in their farms by migratory birds from Europe and other parts of the world believed to be carriers of the virus.

He said constant changes in the strain of the virus made it difficult for a permanent solution, hence the best way to approach it remained preventive measures.

He said: “There is bird flu in Cameroon and in Europe now, they move from Europe to South Africa in the winter, they stop in the Adaeja river basin for days to rest before they move on.

Bird flu

“We don’t have the vaccine yet, we are calling a meeting of all the Commissioners of Agriculture to take measures to control it because there is no vaccine yet.

“We are telling farmers to try and take measures to avoid the spread of the disease. The strain keeps changing, which is why vet doctors have not been able to find a solution to it.

“For now, only Kano has an outbreak and we are controlling it, we are making sure there is no movement of chicken from state to state.”

The minister also lamented paucity of funds to compensate farm owners over the loss of their birds to the virus in 2015.

However, he promised that government would certainly come to their aid as there were moves in that direction.

“Unfortunately, those who lost chickens last year, we have not been able to compensate because we didn’t have money. We are putting some funds together to help them out,” he said.



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