Eating poultry is safe despite bird flu in Ghana – Veterinary Services

The Head of Ghana’s Veterinary Services Department, Dr. Bashiru Boi Kiki-Moto, says it is safe for consumers to eat poultry despite a double confirmation of the bird flu virus in Ghana by a UN laboratory in Italy and Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

According to Dr. Kiki-Moto, adequate measures have been taken to contain the disease, explaining that infected birds would not find their way onto the market to pose any threat to consumers.

“As for eating the poultry product we are very safe. The problem is that, once a disease is detected, that farm will fail to exist because we will make sure we destroy everything on the farm and contain the place so there would be nothing there to go to the market”.

So far, the veterinary department has culled over 1000 birds and destroyed nearly 30,000 at Kpone, New Achimota and McCarthy all in the Greater Accra Region following the confirmation of the virus by an Italian laboratory.
Over 1000 crates of eggs and bags of feed have also been destroyed.

Dr. Boi Kiki-Moto told TV3 poultry farmers and veterinary officers are on high alert to contain the outbreak. He was however worried the department lacked the needed support to work effectively.

“We need a lot of vehicles and financial support because we need to go out into the field and look for the virus; We should not sit down for the virus spread from one farm to the other because we do not know how people move in the night. We go there in the day and in the night we are not there so it’s good we go all out the whole country and search for the virus to make sure that anything we see we cull it immediately”.

Dr. Kiki-Moto advised that farmers to ensure proper safety measures and report any suspected case.

“Bird flu can infect human beings and also its an economic disease because when you lose all your birds, it’s going to affect you economically. So I will advice poultry farmers to enhance their security levels; they should buy disinfectants and also report the death of any bird to the veterinary services”.

A deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Hannah Bissiw told journalists on Wednesday the Ministry will collaborate with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation to put a surveillance team in place to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.

Poultry farmers are expected to take the following precautions:

1. Isolation of identified farms

2. Destruction of all poultry, eggs, feed and other materials on these infected farms.

3. Disinfection of these infected farms.

4. Working with expects like Veterinary Officers to screen all poultry workers on affected farms for symptoms of the disease.

By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana

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