By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Federal Epidemiology Officer, National Animal Disease Information and Surveillance (NADIS), Federal Department of Veterinary Services, Dr Florence Kakulu has declared that Oyo state is free of Avian Influenza (IA)
Dr Kakulu who is also the Ibadan Zonal Coordinator of NADIS disclosed this in Ibadan while speaking at the presentation of clearance certificate to NPG farms at the Oluyole hatchery shut last week over speculation of alleged continuous death of the poultry bird on the farm.
According to the Ibadan Zonal Coordinator of NADIS, results from the birds samples taken from the NPG farm and sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos for examination were negative and as such ‘ the firm and the state by extension is free from the threat of AI.”
Dr Kukalu pointed out that with the outcome of the test, members of the public are ” free to patronize and consume the farm’s products”, saying, ” by the result, the firm’s products are good for rearing and fit for consumption.”
Speaking, at the event which also witness the re-opening of the hatchery farm in Oluyole area of Ibadan, the Avian Influenza Desk Officer, Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Kareem Adebayo maintained that the state government initially sealed off the farm upon receiving information of suspected AI outbreak at the firm’s farm located in Odeda Local Government of Ogun State as a precautionary measure and in the interest of the public.
Dr Adebayo stressed that the re-opening of NPG farm became necassary since all the results from the reputed NVRI, Jos proved negative and as a way of reassuring the public that the government cares about their safety.
“We took the step as a proactive measure to forestall the spread of the disease if the outbreak was true. When we received the information, we rushed down to the farm to seal it up to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.
And immediately, we took samples of the products and send to the Nigeria Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos for comprehensive examination to determine that status. Today, we received the results of the examination and it was negative.” he said.
Dr Adebayo added “this means that the birds at NPG farms are good for rearing and their products fit for consumption. The state government has re-opened the hatchery and we urge the public to patronize the firm and its products.”
Representative of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Oyo State Chapter, Dr Segun Makanjuola, in his remark at the re-opening said NVRI had subjected the samples taken from the farm to Serology and Virological test.
NPG’s Co-founder and top management staff, Mrs. Sakirat Okewole while expressing happiness over the reopening of the farm declared that the speculation of the AI beats her imagination in the first place going by the level of security and health measures put in the farms and the hatchery.
Mrs Okewole said more than half of the 50,000 birds stocked by the firm were lost to the exercise carried out over the suspicion of AI outbreak in the farm and that the 30,000 birds hatched for sales on Monday could not be sold as a result of the closure of the farm’s hatchery in Ibadan.
“When we noticed unusual loss of birds on our farm few weeks ago, we took samples to different scientific laboratories to ascertain the cause but the results confirmed the birds were negative to AI. Less than a week ago, people from Ogun State Ministry visited the farm to put mitigation methods in place. They disinfected and depopulated more than half of the birds.” she said.
Mrs Okewola noted that ‘also, Oyo State Ministry came to seal-up our hatchery in Ibadan over suspicion that some of the eggs in the hatchery has been infected with the virus. But we are glad that the result from NVRI, Jos has vindicated us. ‘
“We have lost thousands of birds to the exercise and with no hope of compensation from the government. We are only appealing to the federal government to do something fast to compensate us, considering the state of the economy and as a way of encouraging young poultry farmers so that they will know that they are never alone when they going is tough for their farms. Such efforts will encourage new entrants into the business and make them have more confidence in doing the business. This will also portray government as a responsible and responsive one. Besides, all these efforts would go a long way to help boost public consumption of protein and enhance economic growth.”