The Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration has commenced a four-week mass vaccination of cattle in the FCT to combat the spread of anthrax. The exercise aims to vaccinate at least one million cattle across the six area councils of the FCT.
The move comes after the confirmation of the disease in a neighboring state, Suleja, Niger. The FCT Administration approved the purchase of one million doses of the vaccine as the most effective measure to prevent the disease.
The FCT has been proactive in sensitizing residents, particularly livestock owners and butchers, about the signs, symptoms, and measures to protect themselves and their animals from anthrax. The Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Regina Adulugba, emphasized the danger of anthrax, which is fatal to both animals and humans, and can be contracted through open wounds or consuming infected animals.
The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter, praised the FCTA for its proactive approach and assured cooperation from the Fulani herders’ community.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the animal health sector to tackle anthrax and other zoonotic diseases. The association specifically urged vaccination of animals in the 17 border states affected by anthrax, including Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Cross River, Plateau, Gombe, Bauchi, and Sokoto.
The association also advocated for the massive employment of veterinary doctors nationwide to ensure effective vaccination of animals and disease detection, prevention, and control. This step is seen as crucial in safeguarding lives and property, which is a primary responsibility of the government.
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