bird fluASABA – Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, Delta Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has said that the ministry has seized a poultry farm suspected to have been infested by bird flu disease.
Muoboghare, who made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Asaba on Tuesday, said that the ministry on Friday discovered a case of birds dying in the farm.
He said a sample was taken from the farm for testing and confirmation at Veterinary Organisation of Nigeria (VON).
Muoboghare said that government was serious about tackling anything that had to do with infections, especially when it involves transmitting diseases from animals to man.
He noted that suspected birds must be destroyed and the farms disinfected to avoid transmission of the disease.
Muoboghare called on poultry farmers in the state not to be afraid to report any suspected case as the government would compensate them for their losses.
The commissioner also urged farms to stop getting stocks from disease prone areas, such as Lagos and Kano states, for now as they were their main sources.
“Anything that has to do with infections we have to handle with care so that it will not affect people and that is why we want to find out from the experts,” he said.
Muoboghare said that the veterinary units of the state and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture had intervened in the case.
“As I speak to you, we have invited the veterinary experts from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to see what we saw first and we are expecting the written reports from VON any moment from now.
“We have also contained movement of birds from that particular farm to ensure that other birds are not infected.
“We are trying to contain the isolated case that we suspect now but my advice is that buyers of meat must be careful the kinds of poultry they buy and the farmers must not allow every contact to their birds,” he said.
Also, Dr Ahumafo Egadi, veterinary expert in the ministry, said although if an infested bird was properly cooked the virus would die, the danger was in the preparation of the meat.
Egadi said that bird flu virus could survive in freezing conditions and could live for about 21 days under normal atmospheric conditions.