Newcastle disease (ND) is one of the most important avian viral diseases because of its high economic impact on the poultry industry. Newcastle disease was discovered in Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and a metropolitan borough of Tyne and wear, in northeast England in 1926 (Doyle, 1927), but at this time slightly different strains were found in other parts of the world. The disease was initially reported in 1925 in Southeast Asia (Alexander, 1997) since then it has become an economically important disease of poultry all over the world.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and is home to about 175 million domestic poultry. Poultry production in Nigeria can be classified into extensive and intensive systems. The extensive system accounts for the vast majority of poultry, more than 143 million which are free ranging birds in the rural areas (Sainbury, 2000). In Nigeria it is estimated that poultry supplies about 10% of the total meat needs and out of about 150 million poultry birds, 102 million are indigenous (Majiyade and Lamorde, 1997). The indigenous village chicken is identified as a way of providing rural women with diverse income earnings and employment (Alexander, 2001).
However, the endemic Newcastle and associated mortalities constitute a major obstacle to the promotion of large holdings of these birds (Majiyade and Lamorde, 1997). The disease is worldwide in distribution and virus strains of wide varying degrees of pathogenicity exist. Reports from some parts of Nigeria rated Newcastle disease as one of the greatest constraint to the development of the rural poultry production (Dipeolu and Kenipe, 1998).
In order to formulate appropriate control measures, the national situation with regards to the Newcastle disease status among the indigenous chickens need to be established in local chicken.(Rao and Prascal, 1987)
Newcastle disease since its first report in 1927 poses a threat on the on the poultry. The incidence of this disease has reduced over the years because of effective vaccination policies. However, the disease continues to be reported even in vaccinated flocks which necessitate industry the commercial vaccines against the epizootic isolates. (Hofacre, 1986)
In commercial chickens thermostable ND vaccines are used but this practice is not very popular in Nigeria
The presence of antibodies to NDV in unvaccinated local chickens can therefore be used to evaluate the prevalence of ND in a given environment.
IMPLICATION OF STUDY
The indigenous village chicken is identified as a way of providing rural men and women with diverse income earnings and employment, However the endemic Newcastle Disease and its associated mortalities constitute a major obstacle to the promotion of large holding of these birds, since the disease has no treatment and chicks can only be vaccinated against the disease. This work is to detect the level of protection the indigenous chicken has against Newcastle disease.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
I. This work is to assess Newcastle disease virus antibodies among birds reared in Anyigba Kogi State. `
II. To established the public implication of this disease when found among birds.
III. To compare the prevalence of ND among different villages in Anyigba, Kogi state
IV. To inform the keepers of indigenous birds on the need for improved management practices
V. To know the effect of ND of birds close to commercial flocks and those not close to commercial flock
VI. To detect the level of protection birds has against ND