FG clears farm off bird flu, as Oyo re-opens hatchery

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THE Federal Department of Veterinary Services has certified NPG Farm Enterprises, Ogun state, free of Avian Influenza outbreak.

Federal Epidemiology Officer, National Animal Disease Information and Surveillance (NADIS), Federal Department of

Veterinary Services, Dr Florence Kakulu gave NPG farm this clean bill of health, following results of farm samples which turned out negative.

On the back of the result from the Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos, Kakulu, speaking in Ibadan, declared that the firm’s birds were fit for consumption.

Acting the suspected outbreak of bird flu at NPG farm, the Ogun state government had depopulated birds at the farm, while the Oyo state government had shut NPG’s hatchery located in Oluyole area of the state last week.

However, with the result turning out negative, the Oyo state government, on Wednesday evening re-opened the shut hatchery.

The Avian Influenza Desk Officer of Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Kareem Adebayo, who led the team that reopened the farm said the state government had to take proactive steps to forestall the spread of the disease if the suspicion was true.

He urged members of the public to patronize NPG farm and its products.

Meanwhile, the management of NPG Farms Enterprises has demanded compensation from the federal government, noting that it lost over N10 million in measures taken by government over the suspected bird flu outbreak.

A co-founder of the farm, Mrs Sakirat Okewole, stated that more than half of the 50,000 birds stocked by the firm were lost to the exercise.

She added that the 30,000 birds hatched for sale on Monday could not be sold as a result of the closure of the farm’s hatchery in Ibadan.

“Few days ago, we had officers from Ogun state who came into the farm to put in place mitigation measures. They depopulated and disinfected.”

“As a Public Health Scientist and considering the kind of incubation we do here to hatch the eggs, under ambient environment, good humidity, I see no reason why virus could survive in that condition.”

“We ran some tests at two or three scientific laboratories in Ibadan and the result confirmed the birds negative of avian influenza. After this test, we took a step further because we are professionals, we give room for scientific analysis, we held on till the result from a reference institute, Federal Veterinary Research Institute, in Jos, which proved that our birds were not infected with avian influenza.”

“Though, we are glad today that our birds are proven to be negative of avian influenza, what about the losses we have incurred?”

“Thousands of birds have been depopulated with no hope of government to compensate us yet.”

“We are appealing to the Federal Government to at least do something fast not only in the farmer’s interest but the consideration that it is when the farmers have birds on the farm that they are able to keep people employed.”

“The earlier the government try to help us the better for everybody. It would also give every other farmer and incoming farmers a sense that the government is very responsible and that they will cater for losses that is similar to ours in the nearest future,” she said.

 

TribuneonlineNG

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