In a bid to curb the sudden emergence of rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) currently ravaging farms in Ogun State, the state government has said it will harness an integrated surveillance response and engage farmers in continuous education on preventive measures.
Commissioner for Agriculture Adeola Odedina gave this assurance at the Ogun State Veterinary Hospital Complex in Abeokuta during a seminar organized for farmers, which was held under the theme of “Promoting and Sustaining Healthy and Profitable Cuniculture in Ogun State.”
Speaking on behalf of Odedina, Dotun Sorunke, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, conveyed the government’s sympathies to the farmers affected by the outbreak of RHD on their farms and, in a bid to curb the disease, advised farmers to desist from using unauthorized vaccinations.
“We empathise with the dire situation rabbit farmers have been plunged into in the last couple of weeks, and I must say that your losses have not gone unnoticed by the Gov. Dapo Abiodun-led administration.
“Having lost over 3,000 rabbits to this outbreak, concerted effort is thus being harnessed toward integrated surveillance response and continuous education of farmers and stakeholders in the rabbit meat value-chain.
“I must emphasise that vaccination of rabbits against Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is not an option as other countries using vaccine have continued to have outbreaks,” said Sorunke.
While delivering his lecture entitled “Cuniculture: Where It Was, Where It Is and Where It Ought To Be”, Taiwo Jolaoso, director of veterinary service, described cuniculture, the practice of raising domestic rabbits for food, as a source of employment and meat.
Jolaoso noted that the habit rabbit farmers have of not consulting veterinary doctors contributed largely to the outbreak of the communicable disease. He also urged farmers to get registered with the government so they would be recognized.