Poultry farmers in Enugu State have lost about N140 million to bird flu within a week, says an official of the state Ministry of Agriculture.
The director of Veterinary Services in the ministry, Emmanuel Onyeka, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday.
He said the loss came about from the destruction of 132,500 birds confirmed to have been infested with bird flu.
Mr. Onyeka said the loss came from burying birds, decontaminating and shutting down three poultry farms within Ozalla and Ngwo, on the outskirts of Enugu metropolis.
He said 40 staff of the three farms had lost their jobs due to the resurgence of the disease.
"Three poultry farms have lost a minimum estimate of N140 million after we buried all their birds found with bird flu disease as well as disinfected, decontaminated and shut down the farms for three months.
"One of the farms at Ozalla with 120,000 birds and two at Ngwo with 12,500 birds were involved in the case detected on Monday in the state.
"A minimum of 40 staff have also lost their jobs since the farms were shut down.
"The combined team of the state and Federal Department of Veterinary Services have been working hard to contain the outbreak and make sure that it doesn't spread to other farms in the state," he said.
The director urged residents of the state not to panic as the ministry was addressing the problem.
Mr. Onyeka said the ministry would continue to take pro-active steps to protect them as well as the multi-billion poultry business in the state.