The South-west Directors of Veterinary Services in Nigeria have officially verified the emergence of two Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) within the region.
These diseases are African Swine Fever affecting pigs and Anthrax affecting herbivores.
In a statement seen by a popular online medium, Dr. Taiwo Jolaoso, the conference’s Chairman, emphasized that TADs constitute highly contagious livestock epidemics capable of swift global dissemination, carrying adverse socio-economic and public health ramifications.
The federal government, therefore in a joint press release signed by Dr. Columba Vakuru, Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director General of NCDC, highlighted that a risk assessment indicated a high likelihood of an anthrax outbreak in the country which means addressing these diseases necessitates collaborative efforts among various countries.
Additionally, the statement indicated that necessary actions have been taken to decontaminate and disinfect all affected farms and slaughter slabs.
Concurrently, plans are underway to establish protocols for issuing movement permits in the region.
The statement underscored the intention to heighten public awareness, particularly among high-risk groups like butchers, hunters, animal product processors, marketers, and livestock farmers.
This effort aims to contain the further spread of these diseases. Pig farmers were advised by the conference to enhance their biosecurity practices and avoid overstocking their farms.
Regarding Anthrax, the conference emphasized the necessity for all stakeholders to avoid contact with sick or deceased animals, particularly if they display signs of bleeding from their openings.
The statement underscored the crucial importance of promptly reporting such cases to the nearest veterinary office.
Furthermore, the government acknowledged the disease’s significant potential impact on human health.
To address this situation, the government has elevated its response to level two within the incident management system and appointed an incident manager for effective coordination.