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31.01.2008 General News

Gov’t Rules Out Compensation

By Daily Guide
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•For Poultry Farmers

GOVERNMENT WILL not compensate traders whose birds were destroyed last year during an exercise to prevent the spread of bird flu in the country.

This is because investigations conducted by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture proved that the birds were brought into the country from markets across the border in Burkina Faso.

The sector minister, Hon Ernest Debrah, said this in parliament yesterday, in response to a question by Hon Albert Abongo, Member of Parliament for Bongo.

The MP inquired what compensation would be paid to chicken and guinea fowl traders whose poultry were confiscated and destroyed on transit from the Upper East region to Accra.

The Minister explained that officials from his ministry thoroughly investigated the matter and discovered that the birds which were purported to have come from the Upper East region, were actually from the Burkina Faso where cases of bird flu had then been reported.

“The destruction of the birds which we were satisfied came from an Avian Influenza infected country, Burkina Faso, was to avert the introduction of the disease into the country.

“There was a ban in the fore, on the importation of live poultry and poultry products including feathers from Burkina Faso at that time. The importation was therefore an illegality and there is no compensation to be paid to the traders whose birds were destroyed.”

The minister told Hon Abongo not to joke with the matter because it was a serious one which affected the whole nation.

Obviously not happy with the minister's explanation, Hon Abongo in turn told the minister that it was his outfit which rather joked with the matter by assuming that all the birds on board the impounded articulated truck were from Burkina Faso.

Mr. Debrah however assured the nation that “we are safe from bird flu for now.”

It would be recalled that on Sunday April 9, 2006, a Burkina Faso registered articulated truck, carrying 401 guinea fowls, 60 pigeons and 9 cockerels was intercepted at the Ofankor barrier by the police.

Upon interrogation, it was concluded that the birds were from Burkina Faso.

By Sylvanus Nana Kumi

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