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Gambia vaccinates local poultry against fatal disease

Gambia’s department of livestock services is targeting to vaccinate 700,000 chickens in an ongoing campaign against the New Castle Disease (NCD) that affects poultry countrywide

Ebrima Gaye, livestock officer, said that the project is funded by the Gambia Emergency Agricultural Production Support Project (GEAPSP) under the West African Agricultural Production Productivity (WAAPP).

According to Gaye, the vaccination is targeting 19 most affected districts in the country, which started early May 2014.

He said that the remaining districts too would be vaccinated after the affected places were dealt with.

Locally known as York-York disease, NCD causes 90 per cent of the death rate after it enters a flock.

The disease can be spread from one chicken to another through their slaver, drinking or eating from the same container.

Gaye described the local chicken as very important because the number could grow very fast at a short period of time as one hen can lay 10 eggs and hatch all of them.

He said that if the disease is controlled they could even stop the importation of chicken into the country.

He advised the West African country farmers to build houses, provide regular supplementary feeding and avoid people movement in and out of their chicken environment so that the transmission of diseases would be minimised as well as to avoid predator.