The Veterinary Department of the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture has so far forwarded over 75 tracheal and cloacal samples to the National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Plateau State for verification.
The Desk Officer, Avian Influenza Control Programme, State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Allswell Emejuru said the essence of the sample collection was to disinfect all live birds markets in Rivers State.
“A poultry market is an avenue of spreading infection, that is the reason for the on-going disinfection of markets”, he said.
According to him, the disinfection of live birds markets which is being carried out fortnightly were taken from water fowls, sick birds, dead birds and all wild birds in the market.
“Live birds markets were these samples were taken are Mile 3, Creek Road, Rumuokrushi, Trans Amadi, Oil Mill and Bori markets respectively”, he added.
Dr. Emejuru further disclosed that the federal government has donated mobile communication equipment to the veterinary department of the ministry for public enlightenment on Avian influenza.
He advised owners of live bird markets and the public not to panic but to cooperate with the veterinary department to carry out the disinfection of the markets in order to ensure bird flu-free-state.