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FG, Customs raise alarm over outbreak of deadly disease in sheep and cattle



There are fears in Nigeria over the outbreak of a deadly disease known as the Charcoal Anthrax, in neighbouring Niger Republic.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Nigerian Customs Service in their respective alerts to officers on the outbreak of the disease called on them to exercise vigilance on the movement of the animals from Niger Republic into Nigeria.

The NCS circular to its officers across the country was signed by the Controller Enforcement, Comptroller Victor Dimka on behalf of the Deputy Comptroller- General in-charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection.

The circular added, “The headquarters received a report which reveals that the Nigerien Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock had notified the World Organisation for Animal Health of an outbreak of Charcoal Anthrax disease, Bacterium Bacillus Anthracis variant, in sheep and cattle in the country.”

The NCS continued, “Given the supply of cattle and sheep from Niger to Nigeria, the CGC (Controller- General of Customs) has directed on urgent need to place additional precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the disease into Nigeria through our land borders.”

Also in a similar alert to its veterinary officers, the FMARD said the anthrax is a deadly zoonotic disease with a high rate of mortality in humans and livestock.

The Chief Veterinary Officer of the Federation, Oniya Alabi, in the circular said it had become important to strengthen surveillance systems across all entry points in border communities considering the mass movement of animals and products across the Niger Republic and Nigeria.

He appealed for adequate measures to prevent the incursion of the disease into Nigeria.