Pork is safe – Veterinary service assures public

The Veterinary Services Directorate in the Ashanti Region has assured the public that it has instituted measures to contain the African swine fever disease which has affected more than 300 pigs in the region.

According to the Regional Veterinary Director, Dr Emmanuel Edward Effah, “the disease had been contained in the region, but said it is conducting surveillance in all the 30 districts in the region to make sure the disease did not spread to other places.”

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times in an interview here, Dr Effah explained that, “our outfit has ordered farmers to embark on Bio-Security, which is a procedure designed to disinfect the affected farms so as to reduce the risk of transmission of the disease.”

Dr Effah assured the public that, human beings were immune to the disease and advised the public to continue to consume as routine monitoring and inspections by Veterinary Officers of meat continue in the region.

He said although 370 pigs were affected this year, it was an improvement on 2016 figure of 5,620 pigs which were affected, adding that the Directorate was not relenting on the fight against the disease.

Dr Effah mentioned Bosomtwe, Atwima Kwanwoma and Ahafo Ano North as the worse affected districts in the region.

Meanwhile, there has been mixed reaction from some pig farmers and processors over the impact of the disease on their business. While some decried the drop in sales others said sales were booming in spite of the disease.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times here, the owner and manager of African Village, a popular pork joint at Dakwadwom, Mr Moses Adanaam, disclosed that, his business has been badly affected by the disease adding that, “I used to slaughter and sell 20 pigs daily, but now I cannot even sell five pigs a day.”

“I used to make sales of GH¢ 5,000.00 but now I make GHC 400.00 a day and I do not know how to pay my workers,” he stated.

Similarly, Kwadwo Okyere, owner of O90 Special Pork also lamented that, market had been slow despite the public education by veterinary and health authorities that human beings were immune to the disease.

On the contrary, Mr Maxwell Kwaku Shamo, owner of Shamo Farms and Trading and the coordinator of Pig Farmers and Processors Association, revealed that despite the outbreak of the disease, business was booming.

From Faustina Kwabea Osei and Michael Osie, Kumasi

 

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