A study on the assessment of biosecurity situation and practices of live bird markets (LBMs) mainly against Newcastle disease (ND) in Benue State was conducted from May to August 2013. The biosecurity practice was assessed using structured pretested questionnaires administered to fowl sellers in LBMs, biosecurity checklists as well as observations. A total of 28 respondents from nine selected LBMs were interviewed on different factors that contribute to biosecurity situation and practices. Simple descriptive statistics was used to summarize and present results. The result showed that 53.8% operated their LBMs daily while 46.2% operated weekly. Most (78.6%) of the LBMs were not fenced. In 67.9% (19/28) of the markets, birds were kept in cages made of wood, 21.1% (4/19) used baskets and 32.1% (14/19) kept birds on the ground. Other species of birds 82.1% (23/28) were sold in most of the LBMs and 78.6% (22/28) reported selling other animals such as goats 54.6% (12/22). Fowls sellers used poultry manure on crops farms (60.7%). Majority of the fowl sellers, 96.4% (27/28) do not wear coverall or any protective clothing when handling poultry. Most of the fowl sellers 81.5% (22/27) reported that LBMs were not usually cleaned and disinfected. Only 35.7 % (10/26) of the markets assessed had a processing area. The study concludes that poor sanitation was the highest biosecurity risk (70.0%) in the LBMs. There is need for regular disease surveillance and development of strategies to improve biosecurity in the LBMs.
Key words: Biosecurity, Live bird markets, Newcastle disease, Benue State.