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Bird flu in Gombe: Over 7,134 birds lost in a farm

A poultry farmer and Chief Executive Officer of Sankarex International Farms Limited in Yamaltu Deba local government of Gombe State, Alhaji Sani Abdulkarim, said he…

A poultry farmer and Chief Executive Officer of Sankarex International Farms Limited in Yamaltu Deba local government of Gombe State, Alhaji Sani Abdulkarim, said he lost over 7,134 birds to bird flu infection recently.
Abdulkarim, who has been in poultry farming business for over four years, told journalists that he only realised that his birds were affected by the disease when they started dying, adding, “we were thinking it was the normal thing with the birds not until when experts from the Ministry of Agriculture came and took some samples to Jos for test and it was discovered that it was bird flu.
“It was during the harmattan period, but actually we don’t know the cause. When the people came from the Ministry of Agriculture they destroyed all the remaining birds that were not affected and dug a pit and buried them all in it,” he said.
He said after the disease killed over 4.000 affected birds in his farm, the officials destroyed the remaining ones and his staff were prevented from entering the farm as it was quarantined by experts.
He appealed to the government to come to their aid, saying, “we don’t have any money to start another business. We have lost close to N14 million as a result of the bird flu.”
A statement by the state Commissioner, Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Nomadic Affairs, Babagoro Yahaya, said his ministry received report of a suspected outbreak of avian influenza in a commercial poultry farm in the state and that samples taken to the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom in Plateau State tested positive for avian influenza.
He said the ministry has commenced control of the bird flu and containment of outbreak in the affected farm through depopulation of all the birds in the farm, disinfection and closure of the farm.
 He added that bio-security, surveillance and movement control measures have been mounted in the surrounding farms and villages and that the ministry is working round the clock to prevent the spread of the disease.

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