NIGERIA - The representative of the UN Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Nigeria, Dr Louise Setshwaelo, has lamented the losses caused by avian flu to the poultry industry in Nigeria.
She said that unless robust measures of surveillance and control are put in place, it would continue to pose a threat to food security in the country.
She made the disclosure in Jos at a two-day training workshop on disease control organised by the Federal Department of Veterinary Services (FDVS), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the FAO.
According to her, avian flu has come back to Nigeria after 10 years of absence. She stressed that if not effectively halted as recommended in the country’s preparedness and response plan, it may become endemic.
Dr Setshwaelo continued: "Then we will have even a bigger problem to deal with. The resurgence of avian influenza in the country has serious implication given the importance of poultry industry to the livelihood and food security as well as health implications.
"The Nigeria plan to control this disease is known and available; continued preparedness of the country to respond in event of any epidemic in Nigeria is very critical.
"Key in this equation is the capacity of the animal health service personnel at national and sub-national levels to be able to act swiftly to contain the disease."
She pointed out that FAO will continue to partner and support government not only to control and eradicate avian influenza, such as through the training workshop, but also to control trans-boundary animal disease.
Director of disease surveillance in Plateau State, Doris Bistrus appealed to the federal government to pay compensation to poultry farmers who lost their birds as a result of the outbreak of the disease in the state.
She stressed the need for compensation to ensure farmers report the outbreak of diseases adding that out of 153 farmers whose farms were destroyed, only two farmers got compensation in the state.
Go to our previous news item on the Nigerian outbreaks by clicking here.
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