The Poultry Association of Nigeria has blamed the outbreak of Avian Influenza in some states in Nigeria on illegal importation of birds and poultry products into the country.
The Chairman of PAN in Osun State, Chief Oluyemi Olukiran, said this in an interview with our correspondent on Friday, at the sideline of a seminar on the prevention of bird flu organised by the association in collaboration with Tuns Farms.
Olukiran said that Osun State had never experienced bird flu but explained that the association organised the seminar as a means of equipping poultry farmers with necessary information and knowledge to prevent the disease from spreading into the state.
The chairman urged poultry farmers in the state to adhere strictly to bio-security measures to prevent bird flu from attacking their farms.
He said, “Some of the predisposing factors of Avian Influenza include poor hygiene, poor pest control, migratory birds and illegal importation of animals and animal by-products.
“Some people illegally bring into the country life birds, such as parrots and other birds, some smuggle frozen chicken into the country and what we are saying is that if there is bird flu in the countries where these were brought from, then we are in danger of the disease here.”
The Secretary of PAN in the state, Dr. Alaba Towoju, also said indiscriminate transportation of birds by live bird marketers could cause the spread of the disease.
He said, “Lack of quarantine services at international and states control posts is another factor while the disease could also spread through indiscriminate transportation of live birds by marketers.”
Towoju said that bloody or watery discharge from nose or beak, sudden fall in egg production and eggs with soft or deformed shells were some of the symptoms of bird flu He added that there was no cause to worry because the situation had been brought under control in the affected states.
The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Ministry of Information, Mr. Segun Aduroja, said lack of screening of poultry products coming into the country by officials at various control posts should be stopped to assist in stopping future outbreak.
The permanent secretary urged the public to cook chickens the African way, by first boiling and frying it before cooking same.
Doing this, he said, would prevent the disease from being transmitted to human beings.
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