Enugu State poultry farmers have lost about N140 million to the bird flu resurgence within a week, says an official of the state Ministry of Agriculture.

Dr Emmanuel Onyeka, the Director of Veterinary Services in the ministry, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday.

He said that the loss came about from the destruction of 132,500 birds confirmed to have been infested with bird flu.

Onyeka said that the loss came from burying birds, decontaminating and shutting down three poultry farms within Ozalla and Ngwo, on the outskirts of Enugu metropolis.

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He said that 40 staff of the three farms had lost their jobs due to the resurgence of the disease.

“Three poultry farms have lost a minimum estimate of N140 million after we buried all their birds found with bird flu disease as well as disinfected, decontaminated and shut down the farms for three months.

“One of the farms at Ozalla with 120,000 birds and two at Ngwo with 12,500 birds were involved in the case detected on Monday in the state.

“A minimum of 40 staff have also lost their jobs since the farms were shut down.

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“The combined team of the state and Federal Department of Veterinary Services have been work hard to contain the outbreak and make sure that it doesn’t spread to other farms in the state, “ he said.

The director urged residents of the state not to panic as the ministry was addressing the problem.

Onyeka said the ministry would continue to take pro-active steps to protect them as well as the multi-billion poultry business in the state.

He noted that his department had been getting all needed support from Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in order to check the spread of the disease.

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“The ministry is quite prepared, we have been getting very good co-operation from our commissioner and from the state government.

“Also, the Federal Government gave us some help in terms of equipment, disinfectants and personal protective equipment, “ he said.

The director said that the ministry had placed its animal control and monitor officers on alert.

He called on poultry farms and residents of the state to report any outbreak or suspicious case to the ministry.

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