By Godfrey Olukya
ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo
A bird flu outbreak in eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo killed thousands of chicken and ducks.
According to veterinary officer in Ituri province Benon Mando, the governor of the province has officially declared the epidemic of the viral infection in the localities of Joo and Kafe on the shores of Lake Albert.
Bird flu, also known as avian flu, is a viral infection which spreads from bird to bird. Some time back, a particularly deadly strain of bird flu H5N1 continued to spread among poultry populations in North Africa and in certain parts of Asia.
“Over 5,000 chickens and ducks have died due to the avian flu. It is a very dangerous disease which kills many chickens before it is eliminated,” Mando told Anadolu Agency.
He said that quarantine against movement of chicken and ducks has been declared by the authorities.
Mando added on that to prevent the spread of the disease, the provincial governor has announced the suspension of commercialization of poultry.
Dr. Andre Lobo, head of livestock production and animal health department in Ituri, said in a statement that cases of deaths of chickens and ducks are rampant in the province.
George Bempo, one of the farmers who lost 100 ducks due to the flu, has appealed to the government to come to their rescue.
“We need help from government. We have lost our chickens and ducks… we should be given loans to do something else,” said Bempo.