July 17, 2015


Ghana tries to stop bird flu spread by banning sale of live poultry



A "very alarming" outbreak of H5N1 bird flu on poultry farms in Ghana has led the government to order a ban on the transport and sale of live poultry in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.


Ghana's Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement issued Wednesday that people would not be allowed to transport live birds.


According to a poultry farmer, the ban also meant poultry vendors would not be able to sell the birds either, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.


The agriculture ministry statement said "two poultry farms with 3,600 birds at Denu and Keta (towns) in the Volta region were... destroyed due to infections on the farms". But poultry farmers claimed that the actual number of birds culled was higher.


The Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen said Thursday that 16 major poultry farms in Greater Accra, Ashanti and Volta regions had destroyed some 40,000 birds, 1,300 crates of eggs and 37 bags of feed, according to AFP.


"The rate of the outbreak is very alarming and it will need the immediate intervention of key stakeholders... and development partners to come to the aid of farmers. Living conditions of the affected farmers have become very unbearable", said Stephen Kwaku Daku, spokesman of the Poultry Farmers Association.

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