Pig farmers have been called upon to adhere to laid down bio-security and other measures in the rearing of livestock to prevent the eruption of avoidable diseases.
This call was made by the Delta State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Julius Egbedi, during an inspection visit to the Owa-Alero YAGEP farm cluster, where there was a reported outbreak of the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF).
The commissioner who was accompanied by the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, and the Delta State Director for Veterinary Services, Dr. Charles Diai, decried the level of indiscipline exhibited by farmers in that cluster and charged them to always pay close attention to and comply with all prescribed guidelines for animal husbandry.
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The commissioner also noted that to forestall the outbreak of an epidemic, the farm would be shut down and quarantined for a minimum of three months and every pig in the farm would be destroyed.
While sympathizing with the farmers over their losses, he assured that the state government would step in to mitigate the losses incurred at the farm, after an investigation had been carried out to ascertain the extent of the loss.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Pig Farmers Association, Delta State Chapter, Mr. Jerry Ossai, described the incident as ‘unfortunate and sad’ and while echoing the commissioner’s advice, added that farmers should also take advantage of services offered by Insurance Companies and get their farms insured so as to not totally lose out in events of this nature.
The state Director for Veterinary Services, Dr. Charles Diai, also lent his voice in admonishing farmers to be disciplined in the rearing of their animals so as to ensure maximum yield and minimum loss.
Reacting to speculations concerning the transmission of the disease to humans, he assured that the ASF was not transmittable to humans and as such there was no need to panic.