The Rivers State Commis
sioner for Agriculture, Bar Onimim Jacks has assured the public and the livestock farmers in particular that her ministry was committed in ensuring that epidemic and infectious disease affecting livestrocks are eradicated, controlled and contained in the state.
The commissioner who was represented by permanent secretary in the ministry , Otonye Okoye gave the assurance at the handover of biosecurity materials to live bird market operators and poultry farmers in the state.
According to her, it is the desire of the state government in ensuring that the present status of zero incidence of the livestock disease in Rivers State is sustained.
“Unfortunately, Rivers State had the first outbreak of Avian Influenza in 2001 in which 1,200 birds were depopulated in one farm. During this period, the production and consumption of poultry products fell to a very low level and the livelihood of many poultry farmers was dislocated,” she said.
Okoye however advised farmer to maintain surveillance on their farms and report any suspicion of Avian influenza disease to the veterinary staff of the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture for immediate action.
She also called on the farmers to cooperate with the state government towards achieving set objective.
Also speaking, the Director of Livestock Services, Mrs Francesca Fiberesima, said the event was designed to show that government was ever ready to support livebird market operators and poultry farmers.
“As major players in the poultry industry, we will request that you take care of your trade for your interest and also for public health. This event is also aimed at increasing your confidence in the government because they are always supportive of your trade”, she said.
She also thanked the state government for her effort at ensuring that Avian influenza was brought under control in the state and to avoid further outbreak.