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Bird flu: Gov't investigates smuggled poultry from Burkina

Government says it is investigating reports that bird flu cases that were recently recorded in Obuasi was as a result of smuggled birds from neighboring Burkina Faso – heavily struck by the outbreak.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of livestock, Dr. Hannah Bissiw says government will not hesitate to sanction or even dismiss any official at the border confirmed to have allowed poultry from Burkina Faso into Ghana.
Speaking to Joy News, Dr Bissiw said “We are looking into it and if it is true that birds were smuggled in from Burkina then some heads will have to roll along the line.
“If they pass through the border…because we check documents but if they did not pass through the borders then fine”, she added.
She said “I don’t want to believe that our officers at the Burkina border will allow people to come in with infected birds” but added that whatever the case, investigations will determine what will be done.
Dr Bissiw says farmers who are found to have smuggled birds from Burkina Faso will not be compensated.
Burkina Faso’s government in April confirmed that an outbreak of H5N1 avian flu was responsible for the deaths of large numbers of chickens in two regions of the country.
One private farm alone reported the death of 50,000 chickens since February.
Meanwhile here in Ghana, the Agric Ministry has warned that the bird flu outbreak could worsen if Ghanaians keep flouting the ban on hawking of birds.
The Ministry announced the ban on Tuesday as part of measures to contain the outbreak.
The ban followed the confirmation of traces of the avian influenza virus at the Kantamanto market in Accra.

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