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Poultry farmers get education on Avian Influenza

Tema, The Ghana Poultry Network (GAPNET) has schooled poultry farmers, veterinary technical officers, and agriculture extension officers, on the dangers of bird flu among the poultry value chain actors to prevent the spread of the disease. Dr Emmanuel Kwao Pecku, Tema West Municipal Veterinary Officer explained that the education centred on knowing what the disease was all about, the clinical signs and what to look out for, and how best to prevent the disease from coming into the farm.

He said the virus could spread from moving from affected farms to unaffected farms, carcasses of affected birds, and from wild birds.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Tema at the side-lines of the training workshop organised for the poultry value chain actors, Dr Pecku advised the farmers to fence their farms in other to deter foreign birds from entering.

“Do not create conducive conditions for these wild birds by keeping food in the open,” he noted.

The workshop was organised by GAPNET in partnership with Veterinarians Without Borders, Canada, and funded by Foreign Affairs Canada, which was in response to the outbreaks of bird flu in the country and to also know what the disease was all about.

Dr Pecku noted that anytime a farmer moved from an affected farm to an unaffected farm and refused to follow the safety precautions, it could fuel the spread of the virus, or when dead birds were not disposed-off properly and then other birds fed on them they also spread the virus.

Again, he said, farmers, should not enter their farms immediately after they return from the market but rather change their clothes and wash their hands before making any entry to their farms as a measure stop the virus from spreading.

He also touched on the need for the farmers to keep disinfectants at the entry of their farms, separate sick birds from strong ones, observe protocols, and disallow strangers from entering their farms.

Dr Pecku cautioned farmers not to handle dead birds with their bare hands because they could contaminate their eyes and nose with the infection.

He stated that their outfit has embarked on-street education and organised seminars and was also on alert 24/7 to quickly help solve confirmed cases when the farmers call.

He stated that there has not been any positive case on human beings but they were still yet to sample more affected farmhouses.

He advised consumers not to shun away from eating or buying chicken and eggs because once the chicken or the eggs were well cooked, the Virus was denatured.

Some of the farmers also raised concerns about the package of compensation and appealed to Government to quickly help with packages to support those farmers whose birds died or were destroyed.

When this package is set, then they can also have the confidence to report any incidents of dead birds without being tempted to cut corners to sell them to the public.

They added that the Veterinary Officers, as well as the Environmental Health Officers, should be equipped with the right logistics to be able to contain the virus.


Source: Ghana News Agency