National Veterinary Research Institute yesterday revealed that new cases of bird flu have been discovered in Abia and Enugu states.
Its Executive Director, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos, Plateau State that it was the first time the flu was found in the two eastern states.
He said: “The last cases we stamped out in May, after destroying more than 1.4million birds, affected only 18 states. Now the two states have come down with the disease and brought the total to 20 states.”
Ahmed said the new cases had been traced to the purchase of birds in Ibadan, Oyo State at the “point of lay” by some poultry farmers in the two states.
“Unfortunately, the young birds came down with the disease, which means that we have not been enforcing the restriction in movement that is a key step in controlling the disease.”
While advising farmers to be more proactive, he said the purchase of birds at the point of lay was “certainly not the best,” because farmers would not know how the birds were raised.
He said purchasing of birds at the point of lay was mostly done by lazy farmers, adding that the attitude was “very dangerous, deadly and costly.”
Ahmed advised farmers to always patronise established farms which have massive hatcheries and were meticulous on bio-security.
“The small poultry farms do not take bio-security seriously. But the big farms have massive investments and do not play with the safety of their birds.”
The NVRI boss said the national technical committee on bird flu had suggested to the Federal Government, the establishment of an active surveillance unit and was still waiting for response.
He also spoke on the payment of compensations to owners of farms whose birds were destroyed, saying the exercise was in progress.
“The compensation has been spread into batches; batches 1, 2 and 3 have been paid. The others have been verified and payment will resume soon.”

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