Nigeria’s neighbouring countries should step up
surveillance and border controls
The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus often spreads through
the movement of affected birds, FAO and the World Organisation
for Animal Health (OIE) said yesterday.
Therefore the movement of poultry should be stopped immediately
in order to contain the disease. People should not import or trade
livestock or livestock products, including poultry.
FAO and OIE today called upon veterinary authorities in Nigeria
to immediately close down poultry markets throughout Kaduna and
Kano states and neighbouring regions to prevent the further spread
of the deadly bird flu virus.
Countries surrounding Nigeria (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Niger
and Togo) should increase surveillance measures, the two organizations
said in a joint statement. Veterinary staff should be mobilized
to tighten border inspections and control.
Priority measures include: appropriate culling respecting OIE
standards in and around outbreak spots, ring vaccination around
infected areas, the control of people and livestock moving to and
from outbreak zones, thorough disinfection, hygiene and good farming
practices. Only vaccines that fulfil OIE international quality
standards should be used.
FAO and OIE welcomed the emergency measures applied in Kaduna,
Kano and Plateau states, where suspected bird flu cases in poultry
are under investigation. However, control measures need to be intensified
applying standard procedures recommended by FAO and the OIE international
Statement by Nigeria’s agriculture minister
FAO and OIE welcomed a statement by the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture,
Mallam A. Bello, that farmers would be compensated for livestock
losses caused by the disease and culling. Compensation schemes
are useful to encourage early disease reporting.
Veterinary staff and technicians working in outbreak areas and
laboratories should wear protective clothing. FAO and the US Department
of Agriculture are shipping over 1 000 sets of protective gear
FAO and OIE will field a joint mission to Nigeria within 48 hours
to reinforce the FAO veterinary team already on the ground. The
mission will assess the situation and will advise on emergency
measures and needs.
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