The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said over 3.5 million birds are currently infected by the bird flu (Avian influenza) in the country.
He said, “The current status of the disease in the country is quite alarming, as it has now affected 26 states and the FCT with over 3.5 birds culled so far.”
The minister stated this in his opening remarks on the occasion of a consultative meeting with commissioners of Agriculture /Livestock, state directors of Veterinary Services and major stakeholders in the poultry industry which held in Abuja, yesterday.
This is even as he stated that efforts to eradicate the virus, as it was done in 2008, “are being hampered by paucity of funds as a result of the economic challenges in the country due to dwindling oil revenue.”
The minister further lamented that other challenges are mainly attitudinal which the states’ poultry farmers and Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) could have done better in resolving.
These, he said include: “lack of compliance with on-farm quarantine measures and movement restrictions; violation of bio-safety measures which lead to the rapid spread of the diseases; clustering of poultry farmers with limited adherence to basic-hygiene and on-farm bio-safety measures; reluctance of poultry farmers to register with state directors of Veterinary services for easy monitoring and unregulated activities of egg and manure merchants.”