…As farm loses N7m to FG action
From: Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Federal Government, on Thursday, re-opened a hatchery of NPG factory located at Oluyole area of Oyo State, which was shut down last Saturday over a suspected case of Avian Influenza.
The Federal Epidemiology Officer, NADIS, Dr. Florence Kakulu, who cleared the NPG Farm Enterprises free of the bird flu, presented a clearance certificate to the farm at the Oluyole hatchery.
Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Agriculture, Prof. Segun Adekunle had, on Wednesday, September 6, led a team of officials from the National Animal Disease Information and Surveillance (NADIS), Federal Department of Veterinary Services, Ibadan zonal office to the hatchery and shut it down over suspected bird flu.
Daily Sun gathered that the action was prompted by the speculations that the virus had spread at the NPG main factory in Egbeda area of Ogun State. In Ibadan, samples of day-old chicks were reportedly taken to a laboratory in Plateau State for diagnosis, the period within which the factory was shut.
Earlier, the officials of the Ogun State Government were said to have on the same suspicion visited the NPG Farm in Odeda area of the state to carry out mitigation measures, which reportedly led to depopulation of more than half of the 50,000 birds said to have been stocked in the farm.
The management of the poultry were said to have lost about N7million within the time Ibadan hatchery was shut, and the depopulation of the birds over the suspicion of the AI.
Kakulu, who is the Ibadan Zonal Coordinator of NADIS, told journalists at the brief ceremony that the samples taken from the farm were taken the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos for examination, adding that the results of the examinations were negative, “and as such, the farm and the state by extension is free from the threat of AI.”
The Avian Influenza Desk Officer, Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Dr. Kareem Adebayo, said the farm was initially sealed off as a precautionary measure and in the interest of the public.
“We took the step as a proactive measure to forestall the spread of the disease if the outbreak was true. When we received the information, we rushed down to the farm to seal it up to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.
“And immediately, we took samples of the products and send to the Nigeria Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos for comprehensive examination to determine that status. Today (yesterday), we received the results of the examination and it was negative.
“This means that the birds at NPG farms are good for rearing and their products fit for consumption. The state government has re-opened the hatchery and we urge the public to patronise the firm and its products.”
Co-founder of NPG farms, Mrs. Sakirat Okewole, a public health scientists, who expressed happiness for the reopening, explained that more than half of the 50,000 birds stocked in the farms were lost to the exercise carried out over the suspicion of AI outbreak.
She lamented that the 30,000 birds hatched for sales on Monday in Ibadan could not be sold as a result of the closure of the farm’s hatchery.
Her words: “When we noticed unusual loss of birds on our farm few weeks ago, we took samples to different scientific laboratories to ascertain the cause but the results confirmed the birds were negative to AI. Less than a week ago, people from Ogun State Ministry visited the farm to put mitigation methods in place. They disinfected and depopulated more than half of the birds.
“Also, Oyo State Ministry came to seal-up our hatchery in Ibadan over suspicion that some of the eggs in the hatchery have been infected with the virus. But we are glad that the result from NVRI, Jos, has vindicated us.
“We have lost thousands of birds to the exercise and with no hope of compensation from the government. We are only appealing to the Federal Government to do something fast to compensate us, considering the state of the economy and as a way of encouraging young poultry farmers so that they will know that they are never alone when the going is tough for their farms.
“Such efforts will encourage new entrants into the business and make them have more confidence in doing the business. This will also portray government as a responsible and responsive one. Besides, all these efforts would go a long way to help boost public consumption of protein and enhance economic growth.”