Monkeypox: FG asks Nigerians to stop selling and eating bush meat

The federal government has banned the sale and consumption of bush meat in a bid to curb the spread of monkepox disease. 

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Mohammad Abubakar on Tuesday May 31, directed hunters and dealers of bush meat in the country to stop the business.

Abubakar also urged Nigerians to avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with monkeypox.

Veterinary epidemiology officers, field surveillance agents and veterinarians have also been asked to step up surveillance to pick any possible case of Monkeypox in animals.

The statement read; 

“Following the recent confirmation of Monkeypox (MP) resurgence in Nigeria on May 29, 2022, involving 21 persons, by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), where it was said to have led to the death of one person with co-morbidity, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD), through the Department of Veterinary & Pest Control Services, is collaborating with NCDC and stakeholders in the One Health Team to ensure the situation is contained and brought under control.

“People must avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with Monkeypox at home and at workplaces.

“Hunters and dealers of ‘bushmeat’ must desist from the practice to prevent any possibility of ‘spillover’ of the pathogen in Nigeria.

“Transport of wild animals and their products within and across borders should be suspended/restricted

“Silos, stores and other agricultural storage facilities must institute active rodent control measures to prevent contacts and possible contamination of Monkeypox virus with foodstuff.

“Operators of zoos, parks, conservation and recreational centres keeping non-human primates in their domains must ensure strict compliance with biosecurity protocols to prevent contacts with humans.

“Veterinary clinics, veterinary teaching hospitals and veterinary health institutions across the country must ensure vigilance to pick up possible signs and symptoms of Monkeypox in non-human primate (NHP) patients.

“We must also ensure regular handwashing using strong disinfectant anytime we handle NHP and rodents.

“We must also discourage consumption, trade and keeping of NHP as well as rodents as pets in our homes.

“The public is advised to report any pox-like lesions seen on humans or animals to the nearest human or veterinary clinics.”