A poultry farmer, Mr Joel Oduware, has stressed the need for adequate bio-security on livestock farms, especially poultry, to prevent spread of diseases.
Bio-security is a procedure or measure designed to protect the population against harmful biological or biochemical substances.
Oduware, a member of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, who made this known in an interview in Lagos, stressed that inadequate bio-security measures on poultry farms was one of the foremost causes of poultry diseases outbreak.
Oduware, who is also the owner of Oduware Food/Poultry Processing Enterprise, said: “A major issue involved in preventing poultry diseases is adequate bio-security. You have to protect your farm, your birds, and individuals coming into the farm.
“Poor bio-security is one of the root causes of Asian influenza popularly known as bird flu. Even something as small or as insignificant as the egg crates people bring in to buy eggs at the farm can cause a disease outbreak.
“Even the vehicles that come into the farm to deliver bird feed or procure birds can be means through which diseases can be spread at the poultry farm.
“Also clothes and shoes can be couriers of diseases, the poultry farm is not a zoo hence visits by non-farm hands should be limited.
“The poultry farmer must restrict movement in the farm and must put in place strong measures to protect the farm against foreign matters.
“There should be a space where people can clean up with water and necessary disinfectants before entry into the farm,” he said.
Bio-security is very key in preventing the spread of disease in any poultry farm,” the expert said.
Oduware highlighted other factors that could result in losses for the poultry farmer due to the outbreak of disease on the farm.
“Apart from adequate bio-security measures, one of the best ways of preventing disease is proper vaccination of the birds upon entry at the farm.
“This is necessary because poultry birds are susceptible to diseases from their early age, you have to vaccinate and continue the process to forestall disease outbreak and spread.
“It is also important to separate sick birds from healthy ones to prevent a total loss of your birds. It is important to prevent poultry diseases so that the birds can grow healthier and stronger.
“It is not rocket science, if the poultry farmer does not prevent diseases on his farm, it will result in loss of his investments.
“When you do not vaccinate and medicate your birds, it becomes a free for all spread of diseases in the farm. Poultry production is about preventing diseases.
“To vaccinate and medicate these birds do not cost as much as a careless farmer will lose if they are not vaccinated.
“It is relatively cost-effective to procure drugs and vaccines for the birds. Commercial poultry farmers save more in procuring these drugs because they buy in bulk,” Oduware said.