January 21, 2015


Thousands of chickens culled in Nigeria after bird flu discovery



Thousands of chickens had been culled in Lagos and Port Harcourt cities in southern Nigeria  after the discovery of bird flu in several poultry farms, local health authorities disclosed on Tuesday, according to the news agency Agence France-Presse.


Concerned government officials in the two cities said the chickens were ordered culled to prevent the disease from spreading.


The agriculture commissioner of Lagos State, Gbolahan Lawal, said infected birds were found in two locations south of the city last Christmas and New Year season.


"The bird samples were sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau State, and they were unfortunately found positive for the H5 strain of avian influenza," Lawal was quoted as saying.


He said the affected farms were quarantined and that there have been no reported cases since the reported outbreaks.


Poultry farmers and sellers had been instructed to report any high death rates of birds, he added.


In Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, "hundreds of birds" in a farm hit by avian influenza had been killed, according to government officials.


Agriculture Commissioner Emma Chinda said they received a report about a possibly infected farm last week and that laboratory tests later confirmed the presence of the bird flu virus.


"On the basis of that, we had to take necessary steps. Apart from quarantining the farm, we had to depopulate the birds in the farm to stop further spread," Chinda said.

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