Ghana bans sale, movement of live poultry to stop bird flu spread

Ghana has banned the sale and transport of live poultry after the H5N1 virus killed thousands of birds, while there has been no record of human infection, the ministry of agriculture has said.

The statement from the ministry, published on Wednesday, said people would no longer be allowed to transport live birds—and a poultry farmer said that meant vendors would not be able to sell the birds either.

The ban came as "two poultry farms with a total of 3,600 birds at Denu and Keta (towns) in the Volta region were... destroyed due to infections on the farms," the ministry said.

Poultry farmers say the actual number of birds culled is far higher, and accuse the government of failing to stem the outbreak.

The Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen on Thursday said 40,000 birds, 1,300 crates of eggs and 37 bags of feed had been destroyed in 16 major in Greater Accra, Ashanti and Volta regions.

Spokesman of the Poultry Framers Association, Stephen Kwaku Daku, said the "government's attempt to curb the spread of the deadly virus has hit a snag."

"The rate of the outbreak is very alarming and it will need the immediate intervention of key stakeholders... and development partners to come to the aid of farmers. Living conditions of the affected farmers have become very unbreable," he said.

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© 2015 AFP

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