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04.05.2007 General News

Poultry farmers must be vigilant - GAWU


The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of the TUC has urged all stakeholders in the poultry industry to continue to be vigilant to check the spread of avian flu (bird flu).

It also called on officials of the Veterinary Services Directorate not to be daunted in their efforts to ensure that the farms and poultry within the environs of the suspected case around Tema witnessed no further spread.

A statement signed by Mr Samuel Kangah, General Secretary of GAWU, said in their view the bird flu case should be treated as an emergency situation.

All key institutions such as the Ministries of Health and Food and Agriculture, Directorates of Public Health and Veterinary Services and World Health Organisation as well as poultry farmers should intensify their public education, especially on the deadly H5N1 strain.

The authorities on Wednesday declared the Tema Metropolitan area an avian influenza zone following the detection of the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza at a poultry farm located along the Accra-Akosombo road in the Tema metropolis.

A total of 1,678 birds have been destroyed at the farm and adjourning houses. Structures within the community have been disinfected and all carcasses incinerated and the remains buried.

Food and Agriculture Minister, Mr Ernest Debrah, said there was to be "no movement of live birds within and out of the Tema Municipal area until further notice".

"The security agencies and the general public are urgently requested to rigidly enforce this. All live bird markets in the municipality immediately closed," he added.

Source: GNA