Ebonyi state detects bird flu, destroys 1,500 birds

Cyril Okonkwo

The Ebonyi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has destroyed over 1,500 birds following the detection of bird flu at a farm at the Ugwuachala Layout of Abakaliki, the state capital.

Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Uchenna Orji, supervised the killing and burying of the birds.

Orji, who led a team of officials of the ministry and veterinary doctors to the farm for the exercise, said the destruction of the birds was necessitated by the need to check the spread of the disease to other farms in the area.

He said the ministry had embarked on the sensitization of poultry farmers in the state on the detection of the disease.

He said:“What we are doing is to alert the entire members of the public. Whenever they see any bird having any form of disease whatsoever, they have to raise alarm, they have to tell us. So that we come and see and confirm and know whether they have been infected by the Avian Influenza.”

State of emergency

Orji said the state had declared a state of emergency on the disease.

He commended the owners of the farm where the birds were destroyed for alerting the ministry immediately the disease was noticed.

The Director of Veterinary Services in the state, Dr Ibiam Okoro, noted that the farm got infected when other birds were imported into the farm during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Okoro advised poultry farmers to take adequate measures to check whether the birds they buy have the symptoms of bird flu before bringing them into their farms.

Also speaking, the Desk Officer , Avian Influenza Control Project, Ebonyi State, Mrs Rita Okoro, said surveillance had been stepped up in the state to check the spread of the disease.

She called on farmers to take advantage of the services rendered by her office, including the refund of the cost of the birds destroyed.

“Let our people come, report. We follow the protocol and in due course, they get their money.”