Nigeria: 700,000 birds culled

23-10-2006 | |

Around 700,000 birds have been culled in Nigeria since bird flu was discovered there in February, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) official Chijioke Osakwe.

Osakwe said it cost Nigeria 560 million naira (US$4.3 million dollars or €3.4 million) to cull the birds, with the costs primarily associated with compensation paid to farmers whose birds were killed.
Backyard poultry accounted for 60 percent of the country’s 140 million birds, he said, with the industry contributing nine percent to Nigerias GDP.
Quoting the World Bank’s prediction of an 800-million-dollar annual loss in the global poultry sector due to the ravaging bird flu disease, Osakwe said efforts must be made by all stakeholders and the citizens to stem its spread.
Osakwe described bird flu as a virus that did not require a passport to enter any country, and likened it to the Spanish flu which spread across the globe, killing an estimated 20-40 million people between 1918 and 1919.

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