Regional News Thu, 15 Jun 2006

Poultry farmers appeal for compensation

Koforidua, June 15, GNA - The Eastern Regional Secretary of the Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Larry Nukpezah, has appealed to the Government to give some financial support to poultry farmers in the country to enable them revive the industry.

According to him, the raging scare of Bird Flu has is causing heavy financial losses to the poultry business so much that some, who could not withstand the collapse of their business developed health problems. Mr Nukpezah made the appeal at a media encounter on the Bird Flu at Koforidua on Thursday. It was organized by the Ghana Sustainable Change Project (GSCP), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), with support from the USAID, Ministry of Food And Agriculture (MOFA) and Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The encounter was to solicit the media to educate the public that consumption of well-cooked poultry products was safe and not fatal as some people feared.

Mr Nukpezah blamed the media for being "over emotional" in its reportage on the Bird Flu disease awareness campaign and appealed to journalists to cross-check their facts before publishing them. The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Susana Mensah, said the reported outbreak of Bird Flu in some countries including Ghana's neighbours did not mean poultry products in the country are unwholesome for human consumption.

She explained that like any other animal disease, if the products are not properly prepared, one could be infected with fatal consequences.

According to her, science had proved that cooking the meat at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius will destroy the Bird Flu virus and therefore called on all to cook their meat and eggs well before consumption.

The Eastern Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Godwin Kwabla Ocloo, said despite the fact that the disease had not been detected in the country, the campaign for awareness needed to continue. He said members of the National Task Force Team on the Bird Flu Disease had been going round the country to collect samples of poultry droppings and their mouth fluids for analysis to find out if there could be any traces of the virus in the country in their incubating stages. 15 June 06

Source: GNA