In Ethiopia, poultry rearing is one of the economically important agricultural
activities. The national chicken population is estimated to be more than 38
million (CSA, 2008). Poultry are kept in traditional,
small-scale intensive, breed improvement multiplication centers and in large
scale commercial system. The traditional backyard poultry production system
which accounts for more than 98% of the poultry in the country is reared for
two purposes i.e., for egg and meat production (Ahamed,
2000). The largest proportion of eggs and poultry meat consumed in the country
comes from indigenous birds produced by rural growers. Therefore, the main movement
of poultry and poultry products is one of rural producer to urban consumer (i.e.,
from the periphery to the centre) which from bio-security point of view is very
important, since it favors spread of diseases all over the country (Dessie
and Ogle, 2001).
The current live poultry marketing system represents a significant and potential
hazard to both buyers and sellers, yet implementation of bio-security and hygienic
practices in such a system is generally difficult (FAO,
2007). The Newcastle disease experience and the attitude of communities
in handling sick birds (which are often sold) shows that marketing systems play
a considerable role in the dissemination of diseases over a wide geographical
areas in a relatively short period of time (Gebreab, 1995).
Hence, the pursue of bio-security rules and of hygiene measures are crucial
element for the control of poultry infectious diseases (Babiker
et al., 2009).
In relation to bio-security, this sector requires special attention, particularly this time when bird flu is threatening the world. There is no recorded study of the bio-security situation and roles of the poultry markets in disease dissemination in the country. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to assess the bio-security status and major prevailing risk factors as well as associated common practices of the live poultry markets in Addis Ababa.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study area: The study was conducted in Addis Ababa city administration,
the capital of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The city covers an area
of 530.14 km2 and subdivided into ten sub cities. Addis Ababa lies
at an altitude of 2,300 m above sea level and is a grassland biome, located
between 9.03° North and 38.74° East; latitude and longitude, respectively.
This study was planned to be conducted in live poultry markets of Addis Ababa.
Addis Ababa was chosen because it has big poultry markets that host chickens
originating from radiuses of more than 300 km such as Wolayta, Dessie, Harare,
Study population: Poultry traders, buyers, transporters and sell dealers were interviewed to generate all the information required to assess the risk factors. The veterinarians in the clinics and Shola laboratory were interviewed to assess whether they provide any support to this sector. Marketing department in the Addis Ababa City Agriculture Department was also visited to gather market related data.
Study design: A cross sectional study was conducted from November 2009 to January 2010 using structured pre-tested questionnaire survey and observation to collect data on bio-security situation and practices of live poultry market in Addis Ababa.
Sample size: There are about thirteen poultry markets in Addis Ababa with average of 30 traders per market. A total of 104 respondents were interviewed from 8 purposively selected poultry markets. In addition, data were collected from 50 consumers, 10 animal health workers, 20 sell dealers and 20 transport people. The questionnaire was administered in two rounds during festivals and during regular days.
Observational study: This type of study was conducted by visiting the poultry markets and collecting information pertaining to bio-security situation.
Questionnaire survey: Structured questionnaires with regard to all possible risk factors and common practices contributing to disease dissemination and transmission were prepared and used to collect data. The questionnaires were pre-tested before the actual work began.
Data analysis: Data collected from the study area were loaded in Microsoft excel; descriptive statistics were commuted and were analyzed using statistical package SPSS version 16 for widows.
The study conducted in 8 live poultry markets of Addis Ababa to assess the bio-security situation and practices, showed that 52.9% of the trader used public transport type (bus) together with people and 47.1% of the traders used the lorry. Sack was the most widely used packing material to transport poultry followed by bamboo-cage; wooden-cage was the least used one (Fig. 1). Virtually all of the markets dwell with poor sanitary and hygienic practices. Lorries were not cleaned after unloading. Even if 103 (99.9%) of the respondents reported that they practice cleaning the feces and litter, layers are usually formed in the holding cages. Most of the traders and those having contact to poultry one way or another do not have the habit of washing their hands after handling both healthy and sick poultry; moreover, there was no any facility to do so in any of the markets (Table 1). According to 74 (71.2%) of the respondents, sick poultry were either sold to hotels or simply thrown everywhere rendering high potential for dissemination of diseases both to poultry and human beings (Table 2).
Whenever they do it, almost all of respondents used mere water for cleaning
practice, against only one respondent who claimed to use soap; moreover, none
of the respondents used disinfection as a sanitary measure (Table
1). Most of the traders used to dispose manure twice a week except few who
do so only once per batch. Greater proportion of live poultry traders have been
mixing old and new batches (Table 1). Only few respondents
had awareness about hazardous diseases associated with poultry (Table
2). More than half of the respondents have their own freshly edible food
markets having contact with a nearby poultry market within short, medium and
very close distances (Table 3). Most of the respondents reported
to purchase live poultry for consumption whereas some of them for rearing purposes
|| Types of transport materials that live poultry traders use
|| Markets assessed and sources of poultry
|| Bio-security practices associated with diseases control and
|Values inside brackets shows percentage
|| General causes of mortality and measure taken on sick and
|Values inside brackets shows percentage
Virtually all of the respondents reported that the major causes of mortality
in the live poultry markets were infectious diseases (Table 2).
There was no any veterinary inspection in all of the poultry markets. All observed
and interviewed markets have no support from veterinary clinics and also none
of them used to report disease occurrences to the concerned bodies so far.
Unlike most of the developed world, there is disorganized and informal information on the role of live poultry market in Ethiopia which play role in the dissemination of diseases of poultry that have both economic and public health importance. To this effect, assessment on bio-security and related practice in Addis Ababa poultry markets has been conducted from November 2009 to January 2010 to identify major risk factors and practices affecting bio-security.
Our work disclosed that, there was high rate of mixing of poultry originated
from different parts of the country in Addis Ababa poultry markets. The major
sources of poultry for all surveyed markets is as far as Jimma, Wolayta, Wollo,
Gojam, Harare, Arsi and Dessie, most of them located at a distance of grater
than 300 km (Table 4). Mixing of chicken from different origin
with their own health problems creates fertile ground for exchanging and dispatching
the pathogens which is in agreement with the studies done by Grandin
(2000) and Mullaney (2003).
|| Purpose of purchasing of live poultry and distance of freshly
edible food markets near by the poultry market
|Values inside brackets shows percentage
According to our observation, people and poultry share the same transportation
as witnessed by 52.9% of the respondents. The poultry traders and those who
buy them use vehicles such as buses, taxis, minibuses or lories for transportation.
This condition favors the transmission of diseases of poultry as well as those
diseases having huge public health significance. In support of our finding,
Jordan and Pattison (1996) and Wossene
(2006) reported that there is high risk in sharing transportation with poultry;
hence, poultry traders as well as those professionals having direct contact
could be at risk of occupational hazards as supported by Ajetombi
et al. (2010).
Virtually all transport materials used to pack poultry in Addis Ababa markets
(sack, bamboo and wooden cages) have great role in diseases transmission and
dissemination. The use of cages to keep poultry was also reported in other African
countries like Nigeria (Ajetomobi and Adepoju, 2010).
These materials were poor from bio-security point of view, since they are not
easily washable and disinfectable; hence they are all risky with different levels
of risk. The poultry are usually pooled and tied inside the sack with less ventilation.
And the cages have higher risk of disseminating pathogens throughout the routes
of transport since they are porous allowing excretions, secretions and dropping
to come out of them. This is in accordance with the report of Grandin
Even if 103 (99.9%) of the respondents claimed that they practice cleaning
the feces and litter, our observation disclosed that layers of wastes are usually
formed in the holding cages. As indicators of poor sanitary and hygienic practices,
waste management is not being properly undertaken; thus dead poultry are seen
thrown anywhere on and around the markets as stated by 71.12% of the respondents.
This is against the terrestrial animal health standards commission report on
bio-security procedures in poultry production (OIE, 2009).
Besides, our finding highlighted the likelihood of disseminating highly contagious
poultry and zoonotic diseases through different ways. Some among others were
selling of sick poultry as witnessed by 71.12% and slaughtering of sick by 11.54%.
In agreement with our work, Wossene (2006) reported that
there is a high influx of poultry into market during high poultry disease seasons.
FAO-WHO (2008) warn that keeping poultry with food markets
especially freshly edible one has high risk of disseminating diseases such as
HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza). During this survey, 61 (58.65%) of
the respondents reported that there are food markets nearby their poultry markets
at a distance from 2-15 m. According to WHO definition, droplets can move 1
m but the risk in this area is due to wind and contact. Similar situation has
been reported even in northern USA by Mullaney (2003).
There is also a report of effective government and donors intervention
in Cambodia against HPAI (Ear, 2011).
Furthermore, our work revealed the weak point of the markets in relation to
disease control and prevention practices. Thus, there was a mixing up of the
sick and healthy poultry and of different batches as well as those coming from
various corners of the country with out following any of the quarantine regulations.
When poultry get sick, there is no practice of seeking services from veterinary
clinics; instead the traders used to give them tetracycline capsules and/or
traditional medication (onion, garlic, pepper) by their own decision without
any appropriate diagnostic procedures. In connection there is a practice of
selling of poultry with out waiting for the drugs withdrawal time. Above all,
still very little is done with regard to veterinary inspection and awareness
creation activity from the government side. Obviously it has been indicated
by other researchers that measures for the control and management of poultry
diseases should be focused on behavioral changes and marketing practices (Burgos
and Burgos, 2008).
Finally, this survey revealed that there is high risk of diseases transmission and dissemination associated with the status of bio-security of live poultry market in the study area. Hence, systematic and integrated intervention should be undertaken by the government and concerned bodies to mitigate the problem.
The study was carried out with the technical and other supports from the National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center (NAHDIC), Sebeta, Ethiopia, which is the national referral centre for the surveillance and diagnosis of animal diseases. Authors also would like to acknowledge Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine for partially sponsoring this study.