Poultry farmers say AI outbreak was a marketing stunt
Poultry farmers in Ivory Coast say that the recent
bird flu outbreaks in the country were fabricated by the government, which aimed
to slow down local production and cash in on more expensive imported poultry
products in advance of the upcoming Christian and Muslim
Poultry breeders say the first they heard of the outbreaks was in the
â€œHealth authorities arrived here and all of the poultry farmers expressed
our unhappiness. It strongly resembles a plot to slow down our production," said
Ibrahim Bakayoko, an Abatta poultry farmer.
The government recently reduced the import tax on poultry by 50 percent to
help meet demand for upcoming Christian, Muslim and New Year holidays.
The central veterinary laboratory in Bingerville identified two cases of
the deadly H5N1 strain of bird
last month in two turkeys in Abatta. They were the first reported cases
of bird flu in Ivory Coast since April.
Abatta residents say further measures should be taken to find the origins
of the most recently infected poultry. They believe the turkeys were
"Nobody here raises turkeys," Bakayoko said. "We ask ourselves how they
could come from here."
Poultry producers have threatened to disrupt the poultry market if their
grievances are not taken into account. For many of them, poultry production is
their only source of revenue.
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