A bird flu outbreak hit at least six farms in Nigeria’s central state of Plateau, killing at least 11,000 birds last week, said a statement by the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) on Monday.

Bird Flu“Farmers in Plateau (state) are really going through tough times because of the resurgence of bird flu in the last one week,” the statement said.

The bird flu, also known as avian flu, is influenza that spreads among birds and can affect humans.

The spread could lead to the catastrophic loss of revenues by poultry farmers and pose huge risks to consumers of poultry products.

The statement attributed the fast spread of bird flu in the state to the hesitation by farmers to report cases in their farms to the authorities.

At least 130 poultry farmers were affected by the disease in 2015 and 2016 but none of them had been compensated by the authorities, John Dasar, Plateau State chairman of the local poultry association told reporters.

Rather than report the cases of bird flu in their farms to the authorities, he said, the local farmers would prefer to sell their affected birds to desperate buyers to make quick money.

Nigerian authorities said they are taking the right steps to curtail the spread of the disease which also has a potential of causing great losses to the poultry industry and human lives in the West African country.

On Jan. 25, the Nigerian parliament ordered an investigation into the recurring bird flu cases in some parts of the country.

At least 80,000 birds were culled in 45 farms following an outbreak of avian influenza in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Kano in Jan. 2016. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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