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MAFFS concludes vaccination exercise against New Castle disease

MAFFS concludes vaccination exercise against New Castle disease

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Collaboration with the Freetown City Council Western Area Rural district council and the Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society have concluded a two days vaccination exercise for backyard poultry against the New Castle disease. The vaccination exercise which targeted over 14,000 backyard poultry was done for people rearing them between Bombay Street in the East end of Freetown to communities in the Western Area Rural District Council on the 3rd and 4th July 2010. The Exercise was made possible with funds from the Support Programme to Integrated National Action Plans on Avian and Human Influenza (SPINAP- AHI) which is provided by the European Commission through the Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources. The New Castle disease is a seasonal flu that often breaks out amongst backyard poultry and kills them in large numbers.

Remarking on the exercise, Mr. S.M Kamara, Director of the department of Livestock and Veterinary services noted that people often lose their chickens in large numbers during this seasonal flu period causing them unwarranted distresses. He said this vaccination process is the first in the Western Area and there is also a plan to replicate it in other areas in the future. The process, he said, is not only for the Western Area but also the provinces. He also noted that in the spirit of effectiveness and wider participation, the programme is not only implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture alone, but with Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Freetown City Council and the Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society. He emphasized that the Ministry is determined and that the Livestock Division is more than ever before poised to promote Animal Welfare through timely interventions and workable strategies.

Brima Samura, Freetown

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