A 38-year-old woman has been arrested by Mankranso Divisional Police Command for allegedly selling suspected to be bird flu infested chicken at Biemso No1 in the Ahafo Ano South East District of the Ashanti Region.
The woman who was identified as one Madam Habiba Amidu was apprehended by police after she was spotted loading 7 sacks full of poultry birds which died as a result of the outbreak of bird flu influenza in the country.
The Assembly Member of Biemso No1, Hon Christopher Boabeng who confirmed the story on Thursday August 12, 2021, said the suspect was allegedly processing the chicken for commercial purpose.
Hon Boabeng said that they got intelligence reports about the nefarious acts before swinging into action to apprehend her, adding that the arrest of the suspect had stopped what had been a serious health hazard to the people.
Mr Boaben disclosed that the woman is said to have sold the birds for more than four days causing fear and panic in the area
He added that officials from the National Disaster Management Organization NADMO, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Police Service have been involved in the matter to help trace some of the birds which was sent to the market by the woman.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture Rev John Manu reacting to the story said they have commenced investigation into the matter.
Rev John Manu said Municipal/District Officers in the region had been directed to intensify sensitization on bio-security measures by poultry farmers to safeguard their farms from contracting the disease.
He added that, as part of the measures, poultry farmers have been advised not to transport poultry products and materials like chicken feed from any of the affected areas to prevent the virus from entering the region.
“The carcass of the poultry from the farm must have died from one or two infectious diseases which could easily be transmitted to humans. So, it can be very disastrous and dangerous to consumers.
There are severe penalties on any one found engaging in this type of unwholesome activity,” said Rev John Manu.
“We, therefore, urge the general public to make sure, when buying live chicken, they should either slaughter them by themselves or are slaughtered in their presence.
They must also make sure that the chicken are certified by a registered vet to ensure public safety.” He added
He stressed the need for poultry farmers to be very cautious about cheap poultry feeds, crates, and other poultry products, particularly from outbreak areas since the items might be contagious and could greatly affect their birds.
Ashanti Regional Veterinary Officers had announced that the Region is the latest to have recorded the Avian Influenza disease also known as Bird Flu in the country.
Three regions; the Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions, recorded such cases in various farms two weeks ago.
According to the Ashanti Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr. Marlon Mensah, the region’s first case was recorded in a poultry farm at Atwima Afrancho in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti region, after samples were taken for testing.
Speaking to the media,he noted that although the regional veterinary directorate has begun an exercise to depopulate the birds to contain the disease, they want all farmers to strictly comply with the bio-security measures.
“After recording the positive bird flu case, we had to take immediate measures to contain the situation. So we quickly mobilised with the help of NADMO and our head office to do what is known as stamping out of the population.”
The Ashanti Regional Directorate of Veterinary Services has placed a ban on the movement of poultry and poultry products within and from other regions and districts affected by the Avian Influenza (bird flu).
The move is to help curb the spread of the disease in other parts of the region.
Dr Marlon Mensah, Ashanti Regional Veterinary Director said that so far two farms in the Atwima enclave had been hit by the disease in the Ashanti Region.
A total of 2,350 birds died from the disease in the affected farms while Veterinary officers destroyed over 3,200 birds.
Seven (7) bags of poultry feed and 28 crates of egg were also destroyed in the affected farms.
Dr Mensah, told NEWSMEN, that the bird flu disease was first detected on July 29, this year at a farm in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti Region.
He said the Directorate had intensified its surveillance mechanisms and was assessing the situation on the ground.
“We don’t have any first-hand information, we are only responding to the initial alerts about the disease outbreak”, he stated.
Dr Mensah advised the people in the region to report any unusual deaths of domestic poultry and wild birds to the nearest Veterinary Office for prompt response.
The public should also avoid handling dead birds with bare hands and consume only well-cooked poultry meat and other poultry products.
Dr Mensah urged the public not to panic because the Regional Veterinary Directorate was taking all the necessary steps to contain the outbreak of the disease.
The Atwima enclave, made up of the Atwima Nwabiagya North and South Districts, Atwima Kwanwoma and Atwima Mponua, had the largest concentration of poultry farms in the Ashanti region.
They supply almost all the poultry products in the region and the outbreak of the bird flu disease in the area is a source of worry to many people who depend on the farms for either business or food.
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