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NVRI -N ew cases of bird flu in Abia, Enugu States.

The National Veterinary Research Institute said on Tuesday that new cases of bird flu have been discovered in Abia and Enugu States.
Executive Director of the institute, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos on Tuesday that it was the first time the flu was found in the two eastern states.
“The last cases we stamped out in May, after destroying more than 1.4 million birds, affected only 18 states. Now the two states have come down with the disease and brought the total to 20 states,” he said.
He said the new cases had been traced to the purchase of birds in Ibadan at the “point of lay” by some poultry farmers in the two states.
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“Unfortunately, the young birds came down with the disease, which means that we have not been enforcing the restriction in movement that is a key step in controlling the disease.”
While advising farmers to be more proactive, he said the purchase of birds at the point of lay was “certainly not the best,” because farmers would not know how the birds were raised.
He said purchasing of birds at the point of lay was mostly done by lazy farmers, adding that the attitude was “very dangerous, deadly and costly.”
He therefore advised farmers to always patronise well established farms that have massive hatcheries and were meticulous on biosecurity.
“The small poultry farms do not take biosecurity seriously. But the big farms have massive investments and do not play with the safety of their birds.”
The NVRI boss said the national technical committee on bird flu had suggested to the Federal Government, the establishment of an active surveillance unit and was still waiting for response.
He also spoke on the payment of compensations to owners of farms whose birds were destroyed, saying the exercise was in progress.
“The compensation has been spread into batches; batches 1, 2 and 3 have been paid. The others have been verified and payment will resume soon.”
Source: Punch
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