The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie, has assured that the government is taking stringent measures to contain the spread of the H5N1 avian virus, also known as Bird Flu. He said the flu, which broke out in July, has so far affected nearly 110,000 birds.
The Veterinary Services Directorate detected the flu in the Greater Accra, Central, Ashanti, Western North, and Volta Regions. Speaking at a press conference organized by the Information Ministry, Dr. Afriyie Akoto said the Veterinary Services Department was doing its best to handle the situation.
The veterinary services, although with very inadequate staff, are doing everything possible to contain the disease and make sure that it doesn’t spread any further. The minister also hinted at an urgent request to Cabinet to compensate affected poultry farmers.
“Farmers are looking for compensation, and we are doing a very urgent request to Cabinet to meet that requirement,” Dr. Afriyie Akoto said. The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association recently expressed optimism that calls for compensation will be met.
Poultry farmers have indicated that the industry is likely to record its severest shock in years. The outbreak of the disease followed the detection of similar cases in neighbouring countries since January 2021. Cases of the Bird Flu disease were previously recorded in Ghana in 2007, 2015, 2016, and 2018.
Following the recent outbreak, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture announced a total ban on the importation of poultry and poultry products from neighbouring countries where the prevalence of the disease has been confirmed.
A ban on the movement of poultry and poultry products within and from the affected regions and districts to other parts of the country, and strict inspection and issuance of permits to cover the movement of all poultry and poultry products from unaffected parts of the country, has also been put in place.
Source: Citi Newsroom