The Veterinary Services Directorate (VSD), has called on butchers to obtain the requisite permit before setting up abattoirs to ensure sale of wholesome animal products to the general public.
According to the Risk Communication Officer, Dr Benjamin Kissi Sasu, there were some technicalities in terms of the building to ensure that animals slaughtered at the facility met the needed requirement.
He said this in Accra in an interaction with journalists on the operation of the VSD and to discuss how to handle communication in the event of outbreak of diseases.
The engagement would also equip journalists with the accurate fact to inform and educate the activities of the directorate.
Dr Sasu said having a clean approved abattoirs would help promote public health, food safety and ensure that meat and other products of animal origin were safe for human consumption
He said the vision of the directorate was to create an animal health system to provide quality animal health services to enhance livestock production and productivity, and also ensure a stable animal health situation through the provision of quality animal health care.
“As a directorate, our objective is to provide animal health services for the national livestock in order to further the expansion of the livestock and poultry industries and protect public health by controlling animal diseases communicable to human beings,” he said.
Dr Sasu advised the public to consume animal products from certified sources saying “so as you consume your meat and other animal products, make sure that you bought it from the right facility in terms of certification.”
Speaking on Avian Influenza also known as bird flu, he said the diseases caused a lot of economic loss and a threat to human lives (zoonotic disease), adding that a high prevalence of infectious diseases had been the most serious constraint on the poultry production in Ghana and most part of the world.
“Most of these diseases cause high mortality and morbidity in birds with reduced feed conversion ratio and reduced egg production and in effect economic losses,” he said.
Dr Sasu said the directorate would continue to educate the public on the impact of veterinary and other agricultural activities on human health and development.
“We would improve farmer and public knowledge of animal disease and encourage their participation in animal disease prevention and control activities,” he added.
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG