Delta State Government has confirmed a fresh outbreak of the Avian Influenza, also known as bird flu with over 160,000 birds affected in various farms across seven local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Julius Egbedi and his information counterpart Charles Aniagwu disclosed this during a press conference in Asaba on Wednesday.
According to Egbedi, the affected farms are located in Udu, Oshimili South, Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Okpe and Sapele local government areas, with samples from the reported farms sent to the National Veterinary Institute, Jos, and all were confirmed to be the h5n1 strain of avian influenza.
“From what we have discovered, wild birds are the primary hosts of avian influenza. We suspect that these wild birds may have gotten in contact with some birds in the poultry and that may have been the genesis of the outbreak,” he said.
“We are using this medium to enlighten our poultry farmers across the state to take all necessary measures in protecting their farms. they should not bring in birds which they suspect to have been infected or allow people from infected farms into their farms.”
In a bid to control the spread, the state government, through the Department of Veterinary Services in the State Ministry of Agriculture has carried out a disinfection exercise in affected farms and also stopping all poultry farm operations on the affected farms.
Similarly, all farmers in the state have been further advised to immediately report suspected cases to the ministry for timely intervention as the state makes more efforts to contain the situation by collaborating with all local government chairmen
Meanwhile, some measures have been put in place to improve the loss of affected farms as they have contributed to the prosperity vision of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration.
Aniagwu added, “The state government will meet them halfway because we believe that their actions have helped us to mop unemployment by creating jobs for our people. the fact that the government is making efforts to curtail spread by disinfecting farms means that we are already intervening and taking action.
“We are not only sympathizing with the affected farmers but we are also assuring them that, as a government, we will take those steps that will ensure that we are able to sustain poultry and the agricultural sector in the state.”