The Ashanti Regional Veterinary Director, Dr. Marlon Mensah, has disclosed that the poultry farmers in the region are being educated to adopt and use biosecurity methods to help combat the bird flu infection.
Giving an update on the virus, he stated that although unsure of the country’s strides in the fight against the virus, he believes adaptation of the biosecurity in various farms will help reduce the risk.
“I can’t say whether we are winning it or not, but we are expecting the farmers to observe biosecurity in order to protect their investment and their livelihood.
“We say that the higher the biosecurity of the farm, the lower the risk. Farmers are being taught this and some of them are going about it and it is working for them. Now we are recording the outbreaks from the small scale and backyard farms, most of the big farms are observing biosecurity and it is okay for them”.Dr. Marlon Mensah
70,000 birds killed in A/R
Dr. Mensah indicated at least 70, 000 birds have been killed this year in the Ashanti Region following the bird flu outbreak.
He further stated that figures from the region’s veterinary directorate show that a total of 14,000 birds naturally died from the disease with 53,624 being destroyed to prevent further spread.
Dr Mensah, also said 13 farms have so far been affected by the bird flu.
“Atwima Kwanwoma, Atwima Mponua, Kwadaso Municipal and Sekyere East Districts each have a farm affected, with Ahafo South East and Ejusu Municipal recording two affected farms each and three farms recorded to have been hit by the virus in the Atwima Nwabiagya North District”.Dr. Mensah
Bird flu cases decline
Moreover, the Veterinary Services Directorate have also said there has been a significant decline in Bird Flu cases across the country.
According to the directorate, even though previous weeks saw over six new cases being reported, that figure has reduced to three cases a week.
The Risk Communications Officer at the Veterinary Services Directorate, Dr. Benjamin Kissi Sasu, attributed the decline in affected birds to the safety measures adhered to so far by poultry farmers.
“We advised them that any time they see mortalities and sick birds, they should quickly report to veterinary services for interventions so that we can test, and we found that if the farm has been affected, we can come to the farm to help contain the virus so it doesn’t spread to other farmers”.Dr. Benjamin Sasu
Lapses to need to be addressed
Dr. Sasu however indicated that there were still some lapses that needed to be addressed.
“For the new cases that came in, [according] to the investigation team, some farmers are not having biosecurity. Others even ended up visiting affected farms… and that also led to infections.”Dr. Benjamin Sasu
Following the recent outbreak, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture announced a total ban on the importation of poultry and poultry products from neighboring countries where the disease has been confirmed.
There is also a ban on the movement of poultry and poultry products within and from the affected regions and districts to other parts of the country.
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