- Ghana’s chicken exportation has been hampered by the discovery of H5N1 bird flu in one of the poultry farms in the country last month. Officials in Ghana’s neighbouring country, Togo have banned importation of chicken products from Ghana.
Togolese officials said the ban will be in force until further notice.
Ghanaian authorities are alarmed by the growing pace of the avian flu’s pace in the country, especially Tema Municipality where three outbreaks were recorded within a week.
Most Ghanaians fear that the virus might spread to large poultry farms in Tema Municipality, leading to scarcity of poultry products. The head of Ghana’s avian flu surveillance team, Darlington Owusu, confirmed the destruction of thousands of crates of eggs. He also said at least 500 birds have been burnt and buried.
Togolese authorities launched a national bird flu plan in February last year. The plan involved a national alert system, border controls and the training of medical staff.
The West African country aims to eradicate bird flu but fear that importation of Ghanaian poultry product will derail their efforts.
Ghana has also taken frantic efforts to prevent the disease from spreading its tentacles all over the country. Consequently, Dr Owusu advised farmers to feed their birds with uncontaminated feed and cooperate with the team at all times.
Dr Owusu called on people to desist from eating dead birds and also cook poultry products for several hours so that they can destroy any possible virus. He urged people to report the death of strange birds to veterinary services department.
Ghana government has been compensating between 50 and 90 percent of the market value of the destroyed poultry products to the affected farmers since the outbreak began.
Veterinary experts said there is cause for fear, for they have got avian flu detection devices.
Samples of the death birds have been sent to the International Animal Health Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at Padova in Italy where experts are expected to classify the type of strain of the virus. This will help Ghanaians to know not only the source of the virus but also its connection with the South Asian or Nigerian type.
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