Nigeria recorded 476 bird flu outbreaks in 7 years – official

The Nigeria poultry sector recorded 476 incidences of Aven Influenza commonly referred to as birth flu outbreak in seven years. This is even as it lost about 3.4 million birds due to the outbreaks.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar, who revealed this on Thursday in Abuja while briefing journalists, said the federal government is adopting the no vaccination policy approach to tackle the disease.

The decision, he said, came after due consideration of scientific and socio-economic evidence available to the Ministerial committee on merits and demerits of vaccination or no vaccination, best global practices as well as the recommendations of the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).

Abubakar said the committee recommended the country stick to the ‘No Vaccination’ policy in tackling the disease.

He noted that the ministry is committed to the control and possible eradication of avian influenza in Nigeria.

Abubakar, however, called on development partners, individuals and organisations to support Nigeria’s course to fight the disease that is devastating the country’s poultry industry and the livelihood of farmers.

The Director Veterinary and Pest Control Services at the Ministry, Dr Columba Vakuru said the no vaccination policy would save the country money that will be used to import vaccines.

Vakuru said if the country can control the disease without vaccination, it means Nigeria has demonstrated that its surveillance system is vibrant and able to contain the disease.

“We would also have demonstrated that we are capable of regulating our poultry industry to the level that we will take stringent measures.

“The vaccine is not going to come free, unfortunately for us; we have not started producing it within the country,” Vakuru added.

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