The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has revealed that it is set to vaccinate no fewer than one million cattle to prevent the spread of anthrax into the FCT from nearby Suleja, Niger State.
This was made known by the Acting Secretary, Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat of the FCTA, Ishaq Sadeeq, during the flag-off of the vaccination exercise on Monday in Paikon Kore Grazing Reserve, Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Sadeeq thanked the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, for promptly approving the purchase of a million doses of the vaccine for mass vaccination of cattle in the FCT, adding that vaccination was the most effective prevention against the spread of the disease.
He urged livestock owners to cooperate with veterinary health workers for the success of the exercise, which he disclosed would be carried out simultaneously across the 62 wards of the Territory over the next four weeks.
According to him, the Administration had, since the outbreak of the disease in Ghana earlier this year, carried out a series of sensitisation campaigns about the disease among all residents, particularly livestock owners and butchers.
Sadeeq added that the campaigns provided them with knowledge of the symptoms of anthrax and effective measures they could adopt to protect themselves and the animals from contracting and spreading the disease.
On her part, Director, Veterinary Services in the Secretariat, Dr Regina Adulugba, said anthrax was a “fatal disease” to both animals and humans, noting that it was also an airborne disease, transmittable through open wounds and the consumption of infected animals.
She said, “The best protection against the disease is vaccinating the animals and that is what we are here to do. It is deadly because it is zoonotic, meaning it can affect humans and animals. So, it is dangerous, and it spreads by too many means.
“If you have a wounded skin, it can affect the wound and then infect the person, or it can spread even through the air, or it can spread from consumption of meat.”
Adulugba, who advised against the slaughtering of any sick animal for consumption or sale, informed participants at the exercise that sick animals should rather be allowed to die and tests carried out on them to determine whether or not they are positive for the disease or otherwise.
On his part, the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, FCT Chapter, Yahaya Isa, commended the FCTA for the proactive step, adding that the move would also save their investments as well as human lives.
“The entire Fulani herders’ community is happy and is fully prepared to comply with the arrangement. Our people are ready to cooperate with officials everywhere. We have even mobilised in each Area Council some group of youths to back them up wherever they are going,” he said.
via: Information Nigeria