Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Accra traders throng Kumasi for poultry products

There is an influx of traders and farmers into the Ashanti Region to buy poultry and poultry products for distribution in Greater Accra.
"That follows an increased bio-security and hygienic conditions in poultry farms in the region against a possible spread of Avian Influenza (Bird flu)," Dr Thomas Addai, the Ashanti Regional Veterinary Officer has said.
Ghana recorded the outbreak of the deadly bird flu at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region and Tema in Greater Accra and efforts are underway to prevent the spread of the disease beyond the two areas.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Dr Addai said with the security measures underway in the region, “unless an airplane sprays the virus into the region, poultry farmers could be assured of the safety of their birds.
“However, we should know that we are not living in isolation”, he said and added that everything humanly possible was being done to prevent a possible spread to the region.
Dr Addai said the demand for poultry products in the region especially from Accra had increased and that he had been called upon on numerous occasions to issue permits for the products to be transported to Accra.
“I just issued a permit for some birds to be transported from the region to Prampram in the Greater Accra region”, he said.
Avian Influenza is caused by an orthomyxovirus or influenza virus and can survive for considerable lengths of time outside of the host and birds are infected through contact with other birds, mechanical vectors such as vehicles and equipment and personnel travelling between farms, markets and abattoirs.
Precautionary requirements include cleaning and disinfection of premises and the establishment of a bio-security barrier to help prevent spread of disease.
Dr Addai said that was essentially what was being done in many poultry farms and other areas in the Ashanti region with the assistance of the Veterinary Services Department.
Avian Influenza is a potentially devastating disease, predominantly of chickens and turkeys, although the virus can also affect game birds (migrating birds).
Dr Addai explained that the migrating birds normally preferred to land in wetland areas and explained that there are security measures also in place to ensure that, the disease did not spread from such areas.
There are three wetland zones in the Ashanti Region - Owabi, Bosomtwe and Nobewam - and the Veterinary Officer explained that in collaboration with Wildlife Officers, they had been carrying out random surveillance in the wetland areas hoping that any of the migrating birds found dead could be tested to see if it had been infected, but that has proved negative as of now.
He said they have also been conducting active surveillance activities involving sample collection from poultry farms all of whom have proved negative.
Dr Addai said with the measures instituted, a barrier has been placed to prevent the virus from spreading and said there was an active search ongoing in the region together with an intensified awareness creation on the disease.
He however expressed regret that the Regional outfit of the Veterinary Services was yet to be adequately resourced in terms of laboratory requirements and gadgets to deal with actual outbreaks, in case there was one.
Dr Addai proposed that from the recent bird flu cases in the country and the world at large, not everybody at all should be allowed to set up a poultry farm in future.
He called for the introduction of a policy that would require all prospective poultry farmers to register and be granted a license like it was being done with pharmacy shops and expressed the hope that would help curtail other poultry diseases.
“In this case, you could be sure of poultry farmers who would follow bio-security and hygienic conditions set out for them”, he said.