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Regional News Mon, 3 Jul 2006

Do not blame media for low patronage of poultry- Dery

Wa, July 03, GNA - Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister, said in Wa, that the Ghanaian media should not be blamed for the drop in the patronage of poultry products, as a result of the outbreak of the bird flu in neighbouring countries.

He said, since the media work on the availability of information made to it, stakeholders in the local poultry industry should had been proactive in making to the media all relevant information on the disease, so as to enable them write and report accurately on the bird flu.

This was at the Upper West Regional Press Briefing on bird flu, organized by the national task force on the disease. In his statement, Mr Tonia Abu, a local representative of poultry farmers in the region, sought to blame the media for the sharp drop in the consumption of chicken and eggs to the "negative' reports on the disease.

Most poultry farmers attributed the poor market for their products to " scare mongering" on the part of the media, whose reports created fear in consumers of poultry.

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The press briefing was intended to enlighten the media in the region on the disease and its prevention, so that they could report accurately and positively on the disease in the country. Mr Kweku Bawine, chairman of the regional task force on the bird flu briefed the media on the various control measures initiated by the task force.

These included the identification of wetlands, meadows, feeding points of migratory birds, as well as the river boundaries with neighbouring countries.

He said farmers and herdsmen were also told to report unusual bird deaths to the Veterinary Services Department. Mr Edward Adimazoya, a member of the national task force noted that the disease was more of an economic threat than a health one, as it had the potential of collapsing the country's poultry industry, if the confidence of Ghanaians in eating poultry was not regained quickly. Dr Erasmus Agongo, the Regional Director of Ghana Health Services, who chaired the function called on Ghanaians to lend their full support to the task to prevent the outbreak of the disease in the country and also to restore the confidence of the people in eating poultry.

Source: GNA
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