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General News
Poultry farmers get compensation 9/27/2007
Accra, Sept 26, GNA - Government has paid a total of about 1.6 billion cedis as compensation to about 40 farmers whose poultry and poultry products were destroyed during the outbreaks of the Avian Influenza this year.

Farmers affected were in Tema, Sunyani and Aflao. About 27,356 birds were destroyed whilst 13,371 died of the disease. About 1.381 billion cedis were paid to farmers in the Tema area, 114 million cedis to those in Sunyani and 100.63 million cedis for the rest in Aflao.

Briefing the media in Accra on the Avian Influenza situation, Ms Anna Nyamekye, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, said intensive surveillance coupled with other measures by the Ministry and the Veterinary Services and other stakeholders had confirmed Ghana as a Bird Flu free country and Ghanaians should resume their enjoyment of poultry and poultry products.

She said the restrictions and quarantine measures that were placed on the movement of live poultry and poultry products in and out of the affected areas had been lifted.

Ms Nyamekye noted that no human infections were involved during the outbreaks but cautioned that bird flu was still present on the globe and therefore farmers should ensure full bio-security on their farms to prevent the entry of the virus onto their farms.

People should continue to ensure the cooking of poultry products at 70 degree Celsius before eating and wash hands with soap and water after coming into contact with birds.

"At the moment, the Veterinary Services Directorates have started the training of poultry farmers on the importance of biosecurity on their farms and it will continue until all poultry farmers have been reached".

Ghana first recorded an outbreak of the virus on April 24 this year around Tema, then on May 21 in Asuokwa in the Sunyani Municipality and on June 12 in Aflao in the Ketu District of the Volta Region. All the cases were confirmed by the Accra Veterinary Laboratory and Noguchi Memorial Research for Medical Laboratory and confirmed by the US Naval Research Laboratory in Cairo, World Organisation for Animal Health/FAO and National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease in Padova, Italy.

Mrs Nyamekye cautioned that the ban on the importation of poultry and poultry products from noted countries still hold and urged the security agencies to intensify vigilance at the borders to ensure that live birds or poultry products were not smuggled into the country. Answering questions on the possibility of insurance companies insuring poultry farmers, Dr Francis Kunadu-Ampratwum, Principal Veterinary Officer of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said the biosecurity of poultry farmers in the country was not enough to satisfy insurance companies to insure them for fear of the numerous risks involved in the business.

He urged the companies to consider insuring poultry farmers and their farm products to save them some cost during crises periods. Mr Frank Agyekum, Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation, commended the Ministry for paying compensations to affected farmers who suffered losses and urged all to be alert for the detection of any symptoms of the disease. 26 Sept. 07Source:

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