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Northern Bird Flu Taskforce Kills Two Thousand Birds


2006-06-26 13:44:14
This article has been read 831 times.

The Northern Regional Bird Flu Taskforce
recently slaughtered 2,000 birds suspected to have been smuggled into the country from
Burkina Faso and Togo.

The birds, which were impounded at Savelugu in the Savelugu/Nanton and Yapei in
Central Gonja Districts, were not accompanied with any travelling permit from the
Veterinary Service while their destination was also not known.

Mr. Sylvester Adongo, Northern Regional Director of Food and Agriculture made this
known at a press briefing in Tamale to update the media on the current situation of the
bird flu in the region.

The forum was aimed at providing accurate information about the Bird Flu to the media
to enable them to educate the public appropriately to help stem the emergence of the
disease in Ghana.

Mr. Adongo said the Regional and District Taskforce had mounted active surveillance at
the country's borders and appealed to the people to provide them with information of
smugglers of birds and poultry products.

He said: "We are collaborating effectively with civil society organisations, the media and
community members to track down saboteurs who might want to smuggle birds and
poultry products into the country".

He urged Ghanaians to be patriotic and not to allow their selfish interests to influence
them to import the disease into the country from "our neighbouring countries where the
Bird Flu has been discovered".

Mr. Adongo said people should be encouraged to eat more chicken products, as the Bird
Flu was not in the country, while appealing to Ghanaians not to change their style of
cooking but to continue to cook their chicken products appropriately.

He announced that 2,000 sample sites in the region had been covered and sent to Accra
for laboratory investigation and gave the assurance that, "as at now, there is no cause for
alarm".

Mr. Henry Akanko. Northern Region Poultry Farmers Association said stigmatization the
Bird Flu had scared people from patronizing the industry and this had eroded the
investment made by poultry farmers.

"Most poultry farmers have folded up. Investment in the industry is not rewarding, as
people are not buying the birds while we keep on feeding them hoping that they sell one
day.

"Already we were battling with importation of poultry products from foreign countries
and the Bird Flu has come to worsen our situation", he said.

Mr. Akanko appealed to the government to consider providing poultry farmers with
incentive packages to put back the farmers in business.

Mr. Issah Ketekewu, Deputy Northern Regional Minister said even though the Bird Flu
has not been discovered in the country, the government had put measures to secure the
country from the disease.

He appealed to the media to avoid sensational issues about the Bird Flu but to always
contact the appropriate officials for information to help educate the public accurately.
source: GNA

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