New incidences of bird flu have been recorded in Lagos state, with an estimated 60,000 birds already affected, the News Agency of Nigeria reports amid mounting fears and panic. Executive Secretary of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Olugbenga Ogunsetan, confirmed this Tuesday in Lagos. He said several poultry farms were affected by the avian influenza in the Ikorodu area of the state. “Over 60,000 birds were lost in August after the avian influenza ravaged the farms. This has largely affected production of poultry products and leading to price hike in the area,” Ogunsetan said.
The state government said it was making arrangement with the Federal Government for compensation to the affected poultry farmers. The Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olajide Basorun, who spoke on the compensation move, corroborated the severity claim by the PAN scribe. He said that compensating affected farmers would encourage others, who were afraid to report the case, to come forward.
“The Lagos state government, in collaboration with the Federal government, is already thinking of ways to support these farmers, whose poultry were affected by the scourge. Many economies have shut down because of this avian influenza and these economies have dependants, which mean a lot of people have lost their livelihoods. Government is mindful of that and is working out modalities to compensate the farmers so that others, who have the flu and have not reported or are under reporting, will be encouraged to come forward,” he said.
The permanent secretary said government does not want a scenario were the farmers, who do not report, will sell their birds to unsuspecting public. He said where there was a reported case, the ministry had moved swiftly to conduct tests and depopulate such farm.