The Federal Government says it will soon commence the mass vaccination of sheep and goats across the country to protect them against the Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) disease.
PPR is an acute viral disease of goats and sheep characterised by fever, necrotic stomatitis, gastroenteritis, pneumonia, and sometimes death.
Gideon Mshelbwala, the Director, Pests Control Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this during an interview with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr. Mshelbwala said that the exercise, which would last for the next seven years, would help extend the life span of animals across the country.
According to him, PPR disease accounted for about 40 per cent deaths in animals, adding that if tackled, 40 per cent of goats and sheep would be preserved.
The director said that EU, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the African Union (AU) were supporting the Federal Government to control the disease.
“We currently have the most dangerous foot and mouth disease in addition to the PPR and these diseases are endemic in the country.
“We want to eradicate these diseases in our animals, especially the PPR in sheep and goats.
“We are committing a project for the next seven years to control PPR because sheep and goat are kept all over the country by women and youths.
‘‘There is a project coming up to start mass vaccination against the PPR for sheep and goats,’’ Mshelbwala said.
The director however assured citizens and animal owners of government’s commitment toward ensuring the phasing out of the disease.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the last 15 years, PPR has rapidly expanded within Africa and to large parts of Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia including China. (NAN)