Cattle crossing major roads are not acceptable and the authorities must work towards eliminating such practices; Dr Emmanuel Kwao Pecku, Veterinary Officers in-charge of Tema Metropolitan with oversight responsibility for Tema West Municipality and Kpone-Katamanso Municipal stated.
Speaking at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office and Motor Transport and Traffic Department road safety campaign platform, Dr Pecku said cattle crossing the road posed major risk to other road users and a potential cause for road crash.
He said sometimes drivers run into the herd of cattle unaware of their presence on the road.
Dr Pecku noted that these animals could easily injure pedestrians, as there have instances where cattle out of control have caused hazards to people nearby.
The Veterinary Officer said such animals were supposed to be reared in the rural area and not urban areas.
He appealed to the various metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies to enforce the bye-laws which regulated the movement of animals in urban settlement.
Dr Pecku said “as a veterinary officer, I strongly recommend that ranches are built to keep and protect these animals from unnecessary harm either on the road or by some residents”.
The Veterinary Officer also revealed that uncontrolled movement of cattle also posed health danger to people who came into close proximity, depending on whatever illness they were carrying.
Dr Pecku said cattle fell within the zoonotic diseases’ zones, which could spread in many ways, such as working closely with infected livestock; contact with infected pets, exhibited animals or wildlife, contact with soil or water contaminated by animals, and consumption of contaminated unpasteurised dairy products.
He said it was therefore dangerous to allow such animals to roam around human habitation and in urban centres.
On ways to prevent the spread of animal diseases to humans, Dr Pecku said, it was by practising good personal hygiene, wearing protective clothing, maintaining healthy animals and undertaking preventative treatments and vaccinations where appropriate, could minimise the risk of some animal-borne diseases infecting people.
He said: “If you work with or handle animals, you should take precautions to reduce your risk of infection, keep animals healthy.
“Minimise their exposure to other animals that are likely to be infected – minimise domestic dog exposure to feral pigs that may be infected with Brucella suis. Dogs may become infected and serve as a source of infection for humans.
Dr Pecku said “ensure you, your family and your staff seek medical attention if unwell. Talk to your medical practitioner, about minimising the likelihood of being infected with zoonotic diseases, if you might have been exposed to any animal”.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency, said the Tema-MTTD Road Safety Campaign project sought to create consistent and systematic weekly awareness advocacy on the need for road users to be cautious on the road, to enable the country curbed the rising increase in road crashes.
Mr Ameyibor also called for attitudinal change on the road, noting that among the many causes of road crashes were carelessness on the part of drivers and other road users.