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Kaduna govt to immunize 1,014 horses, 314 donkeys against Infection

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Kaduna State Government says it would soon immunize 1,014 horses against Equine Influenza, a horse flu, in the state.

Samuel Tanko-Dogo, director, Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna.

Tanko-Dogo said 314 Donkeys would also be immunized against the infection in the state.

He said the measure was taken to tackle the flu that broke out in January in parts of the state.

Equine influenza virus, EIV, is a major cause of acute respiratory diseases in horses and donkeys.

Veterinary experts recommend adequate quarantine of affected horses. An equine influenza surveillance plan with an appropriate EIV control program are major steps to safeguard the large population of the animals.

Recall that the state government in January quarantined 19 horses infected by the disease to curtail its spread.

The agriculture ministry in April also embarked on a program to disinfect and de-worm horses and Donkeys across the state.

The Veterinary officials had collated data on population of horses and donkeys in the state during the deworming program.

A breakdown showed that 528 horses had been identified in the Northern Senatorial Zone, while 337 horses would be immunized in the Central zone and 49 in the Southern zone.

According to the official, 263 donkeys are to be vaccinated in the Northern Zone while 51 had been identified for the program in the southern zone of the state.

NAN learned that the programme would be concentrated in the Emirate Councils where such animals are in high concentration, especially in Zazzau Emirate, Birnin Gwari, Jema’a, Jere, Lere, Jaba and Kagoro.

It would also concentrate in TRAPCCO and the 5th Chucker, where most Horses use for Polo games are housed as well as the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, and Nigeria Police Force settlement in the state.

Mr Tanko-Dogo said that the state government had procured vaccines for the exercise to ensure the disease is stamped out.

Igabi and Zaria Local Government Areas are homes to hundreds of horses used for Polo Games and Durbar during Sallah by the Zazzau Emirate.

Veterinary experts say tackling the Flu would reduce risks of contracting the disease by horses from different countries that attend the annual Kaduna International Polo Tournament.

Polo events in Kaduna usually attracts clubs from Brazil, the UK and South Africa as well as indigenous clubs from Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina and Niger states.

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