Officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture during the commencement of decontamination of 26 live-bird markets against avian influenza in Lagos State on Wednesday.

By Nimot Adetola Sulaimon

Lagos state government has commenced two-week decontamination of 26 major poultry markets in the state against the resurgence of avian influenza (bird flu).

Ms Abisola Olusanya, the Commissioner for Agriculture, who stated this in a statement on Wednesday, said that the decontamination exercise was informed by the reported resurgence of the flu in Kano and Plateau States.

Olusanya noted that it was of utmost importance for the state government to take preventive measures in order to prevent the occurrence of the flu in Lagos.

She said that the state had set up surveillance networks in seven zones in the state.

According to the commissioner, it is not only imperative to curtail the resurgence of the bird flu, but also of utmost importance to act fast with the devastating nature of the disease to the poultry industry and its serious socio-economic impact on the value chain.

She said since the last outbreak of avian influenza in the state in 2017, routine animal disease surveillance activities had been carried out in the state.

“This is done mostly during the festive period when there was a surge in the demand for birds.

“Due to the recent reports of the resurgence of Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) in Kano and Plateau States on Jan. 29, 2021, it has become necessary to intensify preventive measures to forestall the resurgence in our state.

“Hence, we will be carrying out a two-week disinfection programme in 26 major poultry markets across the state.

“Within a space of one week, the outbreak has been confirmed in two commercial farms in Kano and another in Jos, Plateau State, an indication that the disease is rapidly spreading to other states.

“The spread of bird flu (H5N1) had been successfully curtailed in Lagos State since September 2007, when the last outbreak was put down.

“Since then, routine animal disease surveillance activities have been carried out in the state,” Olusanya said.

The commissioner noted that measures to prevent the resurgence of avian influenza in the state could not be overemphasised as the state have about 3,000 poultry farms and 150 live bird markets within its territory.

She said farms serve as outlets for poultry and poultry products from various parts of the country.

Olusanya noted that in addition, the state government had set up surveillance networks across seven zones at Agege, Ikorodu, Badagry, Epe, Surulere, Ajah and Ojo.

She said that 30 animal disease surveillance agents had similarly been assigned to carry out disease surveillance and bio-security monitoring in poultry farms and live bird markets located within the zones.

She listed the poultry markets to be decontaminated to include Awolowo Live Bird Market; Mushin Main Live Bird Market; Cairo Live Bird Market, Oshodi; Bolade Live Bird Market, Arena; Olaleye Live Bird Market and Bariga Live Bird Market.

Others are Ketu Live Bird Market; Mile 12 Live Bird Market; Tejuosho Live Bird Market; Oyingbo Live Bird Market; Jankara Live Bird Market, Lagos Island and Pelewura Live Bird Market, Lagos Island.

The list also includes Makanjuola Live Bird Market, Alade; Oja Oba Live Bird Market, Agege; Abattoirs I and II; Idera Live Bird Market; Isale-Oja Live Bird Market, Agege; Alayabiagba Live Bird Market; Alaba Suuru Live Bird Market and Agboju Live Bird Market.

“Also, Ojo Cantonment Live Bird Market; Alaba Rago Live Bird Market; Okokomaiko Live Bird Market; Ejina Live Bird Market, Ikorodu; Sabo Live Bird Market, Ikorodu; as well as Odongunyan Live Bird Market.