The Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has hit three local government areas of Bauchi State, affecting 14,666 birds out of which about 4,508 have so far been culled by government officials.
According to the Director, Veterinary Services, in the state Ministry of Animal Resources and Nomadic Resettlement, Dr Bala Lucshi, who disclosed this to journalists on Sunday, five farms were affected in Bauchi, Katagum and Toro local government areas of the state.
He explained that the birds culled by officials from the ministry included chickens, turkeys and pigeons, adding that the outbreak was first recorded in the state at Baraji Farms in Magama Gumau town in Toro Local Government Area on January 28.
Two farms at Inkil in Bauchi Local Government Area and Azare, the headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area are also reported to have the disease. Lucshi said the ministry had promptly moved in to ensure that the disease was curtailed so as not to spread to other parts of the state.
Samples taken from the affected farms had since been sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, Plateau State, for laboratory confirmation of the disease in the state.
He added that the earlier ban placed on movement of poultry products in and out of the state was being enforced in order to ensure strict compliance, saying that surveillance rate by officials of the ministry had been heightened.
However, he advised people of the state to ensure that they cook their poultry products very well before eating them. And for the affected farmers, the director promised that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture would compensate for each of the birds culled.