Bird flu outbreak: Over 22,000 birds destroyed in Takoradi

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A total of 22,090 adult birds have been destroyed by the Veterinary Service in Sekondi-Takoradi of the Western Region, following an outbreak of bird flu on a poultry farm.

Feeds and other items that could aid the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infections to other farms have also been destroyed in line with laid-down preventive procedures.

The Director of the Veterinary Ser­vices Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Emmanuel Kudjo, confirmed this to the Ghanaian Times in Accra.

“The situation has been brought under control. There is no cause for alarm. There is no need to panic,” he said to allay the fears of the public and other farmers in the town.

According to him, the incident happened at the weekend, and due to the lessons learned from previous bird flu outbreaks, the veterinary service acted promptly when it received information.

He said critical attention was needed in such cases because such issues could trigger zoonotic disease transmitted to humans by infected animals.

He said the owners of the farm would be “compensated and sym­pathised” over the economic loss and the psychological trauma they would go through due to the loss.

Meanwhile, poultry farmers in Sekon­di-Takoradi are living in fear due to bitter experiences they had a couple of years ago during a similar outbreak.

“I am scared and live each day in fear. I haven’t yet recovered from the outbreak in 2021. Some 3,000 of my birds were slaugh­tered. I am just praying this one passes me by,” a farmer at Race Course, Kwaku Anokye said.

The Chairman of the Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal Assem­bly Poultry Farmers Association, Kofi Dossah revealed that many farmers were yet to recover from the last episode whilst many had also given up the poultry business.

He called on the government to address the issue of delayed compensation to affected farmers to enable them to bounce back into business and tackle adverse health implications.

“The way we have to wait for about two years before being reimbursed, this is what is going to happen –some farmers will now want to cover up.

“They either will kill their birds, dress them, and go and sell them on the market or bury them in their own houses to avoid any inconveniences,” he said.

As a preventive measure, 3news reported that the farmers had adopted what they call “a bio-secu­rity” where a mixture of a chemical called omnicide is used to disinfect before entering the coops.

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