West Africa: Outbreak of avian flu outbreak threatens livelihoods, food security (Trust)

| July 25, 2016

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The outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian flu in West and Central Africa has raised fears about food security in the region. In the past two years, the disease has hit poultry farms in Cameroon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria.

As farmers cull infected birds, they are left with nothing to live off, other than government compensation.

The rapid spread of the disease and its continued presence in many countries has some worried about long-term control of the disease.

Eran Raizman is a senior animal health officer at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He says: “The virus is already practically endemic in Nigeria, and we fear that other countries that don’t have the budget, the human resources, and the technical capacity adequate to eliminate the disease will face the (same) risk.”

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Photo credit: REUTERS/Luc Gnago