The Veterinary Services Directorates of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) on Friday, January 24, 2014 warned residents living in and around the catchment area of Ellembelle districts of the Western Region to avoid consuming pork until further notice.
There is an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) at Ellembelle, hence the directive, but “lovers of pork, living elsewhere in the country could however consume their delicacy, which is safe,” Dr Stephen Ockling, Deputy Director at the Directorate stated.
The Directorates, in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), has however, placed “a ban on the movement of pigs and pork within, into and out of the affected areas, comprising of Anokyi, Baku, Ngalekyi and Ngalekpole all in the Ellembelle district”.
Dr Ockling, who briefed participants at a NADMO training Workshop organised in Accra said close to 1,192 pigs had been destroyed either through natural death or by humane killing to avoid the spread of the disease.
He described the loss as an economic disaster as farmers rearing the pigs in the outbreak area have lost close to GHc300,000 due to the destruction of their pigs to the disease.
He said currently, MOFA and NADMO have embarked on an educational drive within the catchment areas of the outbreak, right from those who slaughter pigs to those who distribute them.
Meanwhile, a release issued by NADMO and signed by Mr Ebenezer Dosoo, Deputy National Coordinator, Technical, has urged security agencies, GPRTU and the general public to support to enforce the control measures.
All pig farmers in the country are also urged to report immediately, the presence of any strange diseases among the pigs to the nearest NADMO, MoFA or Veterinary officers in their locality.
“NADMO together with the Veterinary Service Directorate, the Western Regional Coordinating Council and the Regional Director of MoFA are seriously working hard to bring the outbreak under control”, the release added.
He said because more than 900 infected pigs would be slaughtered and burnt, the assembly had to support pig farmers with new and healthy piggery to sustain their livelihoods.
Mr. Eshun however did not give out details as to how the government and its Ministry of Agriculture intends to help these poor farmers out of their current unfortunate loses.