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COVID-19: FCT to screen cows, poultry birds, others at borders

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To ensure that livestock consumed by residents in the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] are wholesome and fit for consumption, authorities in the Nigerian seat of power have introduced strict surveillance at all entry points into the city.

The Acting Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr Ibe Chukwuemeka, in a release on Safety Protocols for agricultural activities in the FCT, said cows, poultry birds and other livestock will now be screened at the borders of the city by veterinary doctors.

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The new operational guidelines introduced to contain the spread of COVID-19 covers five key sectors such as abattoir and slaughter slabs, veterinary clinics, livestock markets, fish processing facilities and agricultural extension services.

The measures include the use of infrared thermometers for all those entering the facilities and provision of protective items such as hand sanitisers and running water with antibacterial soap which must be used before access is allowed into any of the facilities.

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The protocol also made the use of face masks mandatory while veterinary officials, butchers, fish vendors as well as handlers of live birds, cattle, goat and sheep will be required to use hand gloves and boots.

“The use of disinfectants for cleaning will be made more frequent in all the facilities especially the abattoirs. Dealers of Agricultural inputs and food items will be encouraged to use transparent materials to cover them.

“In order to avoid congestion at the various facilities, social distancing measures will be adopted and enforced at all the facilities.

“Agriculture extension workers shall adopt social distancing measures in conducting their training programmes,” the protocol stated.

While soliciting the understanding and support of the public, Chukwuemeka disclosed that a monitoring team had been put in place to ensure implementation and compliance.

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