Health Committee bans slaughtering of ruminants following anthrax outbreak

The Upper East Regional Public Health Emergency Management Committee has placed a ban on slaughtering, sales and consumption of cattle, sheep, goats and dogs for one month.

The ban, which takes effect from June 6, 2023, was imposed in the Bawku Municipality, Bawku West District, Pusiga, Garu, Tempane and Binduri Districts.

A statement signed by Alhaji Abubakari Inusah, the Chief Director of the Regional Coordinating Council on behalf of the Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu, also placed a ban on the movement of small ruminants in the affected areas.

The ban follows suspected anthrax at Bansi and Sapeliga communities in the Binduri and Bawku West Districts, which resulted in the death of one person.

The Committee said two samples taken from two cattle in the affected communities to the Pong-Tamale Veterinary laboratory turned out positive for anthrax, “Therefore, an outbreak of anthrax has been confirmed in these two Districts.

“As of Friday, 2nd June 2023, seven cattle and 23 sheep and goats were confirmed dead in the two communities,” the statement said.

It indicated that as of June 5, 2023, 13 suspected humans’ anthrax cases including one death were reported at Bansi, while 11 human samples had been sent to the Pong-Tamale Veterinary laboratory for investigation.

The statement called on Municipal and District Chief Executives in the affected areas to ensure the ban was effectively imposed, and instructed the Police to arrest any person or group of persons who flouted the directive.

It further directed Veterinary officers to commence immediate anthrax vaccination of cattle, dogs, sheep, and goats, “All owners of animals are to make their animals available for vaccination at their respective places of residence. The anthrax vaccination is free for now,” the statement added.

The Committee, chaired by the Regional Minister, called for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to check the spread of the outbreak to the entire Region and nationwide.

Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacteria called bacillus anthracis, the disease is endemic in some Districts in the region but had not occurred in the region for some time now until recent times.

Source: GNA

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