138 poultry farmers to be compensated soon over Avian Influenza

Dr Joseph Kofi Abuh (right)

Dr Joseph Kofi Abuh, the Greater Accra Regional Veterinary Officer, says the Government will soon pay some 138 poultry farmers affected by the Avian Influenza (A-H5N1) in the region.

He said the Chief Veterinary Officer of the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) had approved the processed compensation certificates of the farmers and forwarded them to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the payments to be made.

“These are the rest of the affected farmers yet to be compensated. Poultry farmers should be rest assured that though we are not in normal times, the government is committed to paying compensation to the rest of the affected farmers very soon,” he stated.

The first Avian Influenza case in Africa was discovered in Nigeria in early 2006.

According the World Health Organisation, Ghana suffered its first outbreak of the highly pathogenic H-5N1 bird flu at a poultry farm in Accra near the Tema Port in 2007.

About 1,600 birds on the farm, mostly chickens and a few ducks, were incinerated to control the spread of the disease.

The recent outbreak began in July 2021 where 19 out of 29 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies had 200 farms affected.

Additionally, 1,024 bags of feed and 1667 crates of eggs were also destroyed.

Dr Abuh said in all, about 362,934 birds were destroyed, about 255, 537 were depopulated, 107,443 died from the virus.

The Veterinary Officer said efforts to find the source of the spread had been futile; he, however, attributed it to farmers neglecting biosecurity measures.

“Because in our visit to most of the farms, you will see that the biosecurity measures are not good.”

Biosafety measures include good hygiene, regular disinfection of farms, isolation and fencing of farms from human settlements.

Dr Abuh said the poultry farmers were trained to observe strict biosecurity measures to safeguard their farms but they did not adhere to most of them.

According to him, farmers who had failed to adhere to the biosecurity regulations would not benefit from any compensation package.

Dr Emmanuel Kwao Pecku, the Metropolitan Veterinary Officer for Tema, advised farmers to report any suspected cases of the virus to curtail the spread.

He appealed for timely allocation of resources and adequate human resource to fight the spread.

“We were not really prepared, resources came late and we were overwhelmed by the cases since we were understaffed,” Dr Peck said.

Source: GNA

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