BIRD FLU Scare Hits Poultry Industry In Ghana

The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAFA), has expressed fears about the potentially debilitating effect that the recent Bird Flu may unleash on their already fragile industry.

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, also known as Bird Flu, had reportedly broken out in some parts of the country, particularly in Accra and its surrounding neighbourhoods. 

According to the association, the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected their businesses and the outbreak of the infectious disease presents a precarious situation.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture over the weekend issued a statement announcing the outbreak.

According to the Ministry, its Veterinary Services Directorate detected the Flu in the Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions.

“The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, through its Veterinary Services Directorate, has confirmed the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, otherwise known as Bird Flu in some parts of the country. These are the Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions,” a statement from the Ministry announced.

“The outbreak of the disease follows the detection of similar cases in neighbouring countries since January 2021. Through effective surveillance and disease control management, the Veterinary Services Directorate has prevented the extension of the disease into Ghana until now.”

Consequently, the president of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko Ampem in a Citi News interview monitored by Whatsup News, said that before the announcement of the outbreak of the disease, poultry farmers were already struggling to get feed for their birds and the latest blow may kill many of the operators in the industry. 

 “It is a double blow because we are reeling under the unavailability of maize and other resources for production and then this [outbreak] comes in. It is a big blow and really going to affect the way we do things because the government said importation of day-old chicks from neighbouring countries that have been affected has been banned, so it is going to affect the already precarious situation and make it worse. It is a not pleasant time for poultry farmers,” he said.

Cases of the Bird Flu disease were previously recorded in Ghana in 2007, 2015, 2016 and 2018, leading to the slaughter of thousands of birds. However, the outbreak had been quickly contained in all the occasions. It is unclear if the government will be up to the task this time.

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