Government bans movement of poultry products, feed from Accra
Government has banned the movement of poultry products and feed from Accra to other parts of the country.
This is part of measures to contain the Bird Flu disease.
More than 23,000 birds have died from the disease and 140,000 have been destroyed to contain the outbreak over two months ago.
The Greater Accra, Volta and Ashanti regions have so far recorded cases of bird flu.
Deputy Agric Minister in charge of Livestock, Dr Hannah Bissiw says the ministry is engaging the security agencies on how to enforce the latest ban.
“We are not allowing any form of poultry or poultry products out of Accra into any of the other regions. We’ve had problems with Accra because of the backyard poultry that find themselves on the live bed market.
“We need to take these measures to make sure that in the next few months getting to Christmas, the Greater Accra is safe from the bird flu and the other region are also safe”, she added.
Dr Bissiw said the ministry will however not be able to contain the smuggling of poultry into the other regions.
She pleaded with farmers to adhere to the directive to ensure that the country is safe from the disease.
But some poultry farmers are unhappy about the ban.
Director of Agro Mindset Farms in Kumasi, David Asiamah said the ban will affect their business because their poultry products are purchased from Accra.
“We import almost everything we use because the local ones are expensive and all these things come from Accra. We use yellow maize and soya for our hens and all these things get to come from Accra, so all of our trailers have to go to Accra to bring them to the other parts of the country and that will be affected”, he said.
He said although the ban on the movement of the birds is the right step to take, the ministry should relax some parts of it otherwise farmers could be greatly affected.
Director of the Animal Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Emmanuel Adu says the Institute supports the Ministry’s directive.
“The bird flu should be understood in the context of a pandemic and we should be careful not to let the disease get out of hand, we should be able to contain it so that it doesn’t get out of hand”.
He said although the move will affect some farmers, desperate measures need to be taken to address the issue.
“What we need to do now is not to allow the disease to destroy the industry we need to sacrifice for the future. We are talking of poultry feed because sometimes poultry diseases are carried through the feed so it is important for us to restrict the spread.
He said it is in the best interest of the farmers to abide by the ministry’s directive because if the initial restrictions were followed things would not have gotten to this stage.
Dr Adu called on government to invest in right measures to contain the bird flu through the strengthening the arms of institutions and stakeholders that deal with poultry.
He also called for the proper zoning of poultry farms so that in the future sectional bans will be affected instead of a large scale ban.
President of the Poultry Farmers Association, Victor Oppong welcomed the ban and debunked claims that poultry feeds will be affected
“There’s no problem with that, feed can be transported to any region because it is not from any farm, it is imported directly into the country”
He called on poultry farmers to corporate with the directive to eradicate the disease from the country “because if we don’t control it and it continues spreading the effects will be devastating”.
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