A new outbreak of Avian Influenza (bird flu) has been reported in 85 local governments in 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Government said yesterday.
Cases of bird flu were first reported in January by the government in over 11 states.
The government said that the new outbreak which has been reported in Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Oyo, Enugu, Abia and the FCT, occurred between July and last month.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sonny Echono, who spoke at a meeting with stakeholders in the poultry industry, said that 491 farmers have been affected by the disease.
Echono said that 1, 597, 191 birds have been depopulated so far.
The permanent secretary said that government had begun the decontamination of affected farms and birds to curtail the spread of the disease.
He said: “As you are probably aware, the resurgence of Avian Influenza at at today has spread to 85 Local Government Area in 21 states and the FCT affecting 491 farms.
“The disease has continued to spread mainly in the southern states and the latest outbreaks reported between July and September, 2015 in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Enugu, Abia, Rivers, and FCT.
“These new outbreaks have been attributed to non-compliance to Biosecurity in farms, limited awareness creation on disease among poultry farmers, disregard to public policy on sitting of poultry farms and other enforcement protocols which are expected to be implemented by the state.”
Echono said that government has agreed to pay N1.1 billion as compensation to 138 affected farmers.
He added that the payment of the remaining 258 farmers was being worked on.
“As stated earlier, 491 farmers are affected by the disease resulting in the depopulation of 1, 597,191 birds and a compensation totaling N1, 11, 193, 658.00 to 138 farmers/farm sand one zoological garden for 498, 464 depopulated birds and 43, 303 eggs destroyed while N263 million is being paid to 108 farmers.
“A sum of over N380 million had been paid as compensation to 138 farmers nationwide and additional N263 million has been verified by the technical consultants appointed by the World Bank for the purpose,” he said.
Echono urged poultry farmers to embrace insurance, adding that the Federal Government would not be responsible for further compensation alone.
“Let me state here that we are putting in place modalities to ensure that in future compensation would not only be the responsibility of the Federal Government but the state, local government, PAN and the farmer are also to bear part of the cost of the claims.
“However, poultry farmers are being encouraged to embrace insurance to safeguard their businesses in case of disease outbreaks in line with the federal government’s stand that agriculture should as a business,” he added.
Source: The Nation Nigeria