Poultry farmers count losses as bird flu ravages farms in Delta
..11,000 deaths recorded in a single farm
This is not the best of times for poultry farmers in Delta state as the once-lucrative enterprise is now threatened by bird flu outbreak, leaving farm owners in tears as they recount their losses.
One of such farms is the Oghenejename Farms Limited, located at Ekrerhavwen-Agbarho in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state, as the management said it has lost over 11,000 birds to the outbreak in three days.
Andrew Unutame, director of production in the farm, who disclosed this to the media, said that the 11,000 birds included those laying eggs and the ones at the point of lay. They have been killed in the last three days, he lamented.
He said that most farms in the state have been affected by the influenza which they had been trying to curtail in the last three months.
“The bird flu is an airborne disease that kills birds on an hourly basis. The first day we noticed, two birds died. Within the next one hour, five birds died, then 10 and the mortality rate began to increase at a geometric progression.
“Presently, we are helpless because all measures to put the disease under control have so far failed,” he bemoaned.
“We have lost millions of naira to the outbreak of this disease and we don’t know how to come out of it presently,” he added.
He called on governments at all levels and relevant agencies to come to poultry farmers aid by providing necessary support to tackle the outbreak.
The state commissioner for agriculture, Julius Egbedi is said to be aware of the outbreak of bird flu in the state as he assured he would make a report to the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.