The Kwara State Government has rolled out new measures to curb the spread of the Anthrax disease in the state.
This is sequel to the anthrax outbreak in a multi-species animal farm in Gajiri, Suleja Local Government of Niger State, which shares a common boundary with Kwara State.
As part of the proactive measures, the state government, through the Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has released a new Public Health Advisory with a view to preventing the disease from entering the state.
The public health advisory released by the Director of Veterinary Services of the ministry, Dr Abdullateef Olugbon, encouraged all livestock owners and stakeholders in the livestock business to increase their alertness and ensure prompt reporting of suspicious illnesses and deaths of their animals.
The public health advisory also urged members of the public to exercise caution when buying animals from Niger State and other states bordering the Republic of Benin, Chad, and Niger, as well as Ghana and Togo, via waterways.
It further advised butchers to avoid slaughtering animals at home and in other illegal abattoirs and slaughter slabs.
Butchers are advised to henceforth desist from slaughtering sick animals for public consumption, and avoid selling or eating products from sick or dead animals, such as skin, hides, and milk.
The public health advisory also enjoined the general public, especially livestock value chain operators, to increase their good hygiene practises by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling animals or their products.
Livestock farmers and the general public are also advised to report any suspected cases of anthrax symptoms, such as bleeding from body openings like the nose, eyes, anus, and ears, to the nearest veterinary authorities or the state Ministry of Agriculture and its offices across the state.
The state government had earlier warned the public about the outbreak of anthrax in some neighbouring West African countries that claimed some human lives, especially along the northern Ghanaian border.
The disease is caused by a spore-forming bacteria known as “Bacillus anthracis,” which occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.
It can also be transmitted to human beings through contact with infected animals and animal products such as meat, milk, hides, and skin.