An official of Enugu State Ministry of Agriculture has disclosed that poultry farmers have lost about N140 million to the bird flu menace within a week, mostly arising from the loss from the destruction of 132,500 birds confirmed to have been infested with bird flu.
Dr Emmanuel Onyeka, the Director of Veterinary Services in the ministry, revealed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, in Enugu.
This loss came from burying birds, decontaminating and shutting down three poultry farms within Ozalla and Ngwo, on the outskirts of Enugu metropolis, which has led to about 40 staff of the farms losing their jobs as a result of the bird flu resurgence, the Director said.
Three poultry farms have lost a minimum estimate of N140 million after we buried all their birds found with bird flu disease as well as disinfected, decontaminated and shut down the farms for three months.
One of the farms at Ozalla with 120,000 birds and two at Ngwo with 12,500 birds were involved in the case detected on Monday in the state.
A minimum of 40 staff have also lost their jobs since the farms were shut down.
The combined team of the state and Federal Department of Veterinary Services have been work hard to contain the outbreak and make sure that it doesn’t spread to other farms in the state.
The director assured Enugu residents that the ministry is doing its best to address the issue, leaving no cause for alarm, promising to take pro-active steps to protect them as well as the multi-billion poultry business in the state.
He acknowledged that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture have been fully supportive of his department, in the efforts to curb the disease spread.
Mr Onyeka mentioned that equipment, disinfectants, and personal protective equipment has been received from the Federal Government.
Expressing the ministry’s preparedness, he said they have been getting very good co-operation from the state commissioner and from the state government. The ministry has placed its animal control and monitor officers on alert.
He called on poultry farms and residents of the state to report any outbreak or suspicious case to the ministry.