Lagos State Government has assured Lagosians that adequate measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of Avian influenza (Bird Flu) noticed in some poultry farms in parts of the state during the festive period.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who gave the assurance in a press statement, disclosed that the Ministry is collaborating with the State Ministry of Health, Lagos State Branch of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, National Agriculture Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Lagos State Bird Sellers Association and other relevant agencies to curtail the spread.
As part of measures to contain the spread, Lawal said that the Ministry has embarked on active disease search by surveillance agents, bio-security monitoring and sensitization in poultry farms and markets, disinfection of poultry markets as well as decontamination of affected farms.
According to him, a team of eight technical staff, comprising representatives of Federal Livestock Department, National Quarantine Service and the National Veterinary Research Institute is currently in the state on disease assessment and surveillance.
Similarly both the Agriculture Ministry and that of Health have deployed surveillance agents to the various parts of the state, while poultry farmers have been told to contact any of the agents nearest to their farms.
Prince Lawal implored poultry farmers and fowl sellers to adhere strictly to bio-security measures and report unusual incidence of high mortalities of birds to the appropriate agencies.
Meanwhile emergency active disease search carried out has indicated that there is no spread of the disease.
Speaking in the same vein, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, has advised Lagosians not to panic, or develop unnecessary fear over the alert, saying that the disease is not as dangerous as the Ebola disease.
Though there is no reported case of any human contact in Lagos and I don’t think we have it anywhere in Nigeria as at today, but it is our responsibility as government to alert the people,’’ said the Commissioner in a release.
The Commissioner however urged the people to cook their birds very well before eating and wash their hands thoroughly if they come in contact with birds.