Kaduna Government has warned stakeholders in the livestock value chain to be on red alert, following the outbreak of a deadly disease, Charcoal Anthrax, in Niger Republic.
A statement, yesterday, by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Halima Lawal, enjoined livestock owners, farmers, butchers, dealers, transporters and veterinarians to watch out for symptoms of the disease among their livestock.
“We call on the general public to avoid opening any dead carcass. Those engaged in the livestock value chain activities should be vigilant and report any suspected case of the disease to the nearest veterinary clinic located in each local government area of the state,” Lawan said.
The commissioner said government was conscious that though Kaduna did not share borders with Niger Republic, there was the need to take precautionary steps to mitigate the disease in the state given the tendency for livestock migration from the Sahel region of North Africa into Nigeria.
“Recent reports from the Republic of Niger as confirmed by the World Organisation for animal health have alerted the world to a recent outbreak of Charcoal Anthrax in the Tillabery region of that country. Charcoal Anthrax is a deadly bacterial disease that affects animals and humans and can be fatal. The bacteria can survive in the soil for many years and animals are infected when they graze in affected areas.
“The disease is characterised by sudden deaths in a livestock population with the carcass bloating and oozing blood that does not clot through the body openings.
The carcass does not stiffen following death. In some cases, the disease manifests as a scratch that can spread throughout the body.
The animal later shows difficulty in breathing. On slaughter, the blood of affected animals turns black immediately after let-down and hence the name charcoal anthrax