Poultry breeders say the first they heard of the outbreaks was in the media.
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 flu
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 contaminated elsewhere.
“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.