The Kaduna State Government says it has started a massive sensitisation campaign in about 400 poultry farms to curtail the spread of Avian Influenza, or Bird Flu, in the state.Dr Abel Williams, Desk Officer, Avian Influenza Control Project, Kaduna State, said this on Thursday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.

Williams said that the state had already embarked on massive radio and TV campaigns to sensitise poultry farmers to good practices and other measures that would curb the spread of the poultry disease.

He said that the government had taken some decontamination measures, adding that over 23,000 birds had been depopulated from affected farms as at May 30.Williams said the state officials had depopulated 16,000 birds in the poultry farms, adding, however, that no fewer than 7,000 birds had been killed by the plague before the cases were reported.

He said that the bird flu outbreak was confirmed in some farms in parts of Chikun and Igabi Local Government Areas between January and May this year.He said that 8,000 birds were depopulated in the first outbreak in January; 12,000 birds in March and additional 1,200 birds were depopulated as at May 30.

Williams said that officials were closely monitoring other poultry farms across the state, so as to curtail the spread of the disease to farms, which were hitherto not affected by the outbreak.He said that the government had approved funds for officials to embark on the decontamination of the farms and ensure best practices.

He, however, expressed concern over the delay in the payment of compensation to no fewer than 39 farmers, who were affected by a similar Avian Influenza outbreak in the state some years ago.

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