Gambia Enforces Temporary Ban On Chicken Importation
The Gambia bans the importation of chickens from Senegal following an outbreak of bird flu in a poultry of the Thies region. As a result, Gambia’s Ministry of Agriculture through the Department of Livestock has issued a press release to ban the importation of live poultry birds of all ages and all poultry products including chicken meat and eggs.
The government’s media release states that “The ministry of Agriculture and the National Avian Influenza taskforce recognizes that this ban may cause a temporary unfavorable shortage of chicks and poultry products in The Gambia”.
Nonetheless, the government of The Gambia “urges citizens to abide by the ban since Bird Flu is a highly contagious viral disease with a significant zoonotic risk, a major global public health concern and potential pandemic similar to Covid-19 or even worse”.
The outbreak in Senegal, which occurred in the Thies region east of the capital Dakar, has killed 58,000 birds in the 100,000-strong flock, with the remaining animals culled, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday, citing a report from Senegal’s veterinary services.
H5N1 – a type of influenza virus – causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza (or “bird flu”).
Humans can occasionally contract H5N1 avian influenza but transmission from an infected person to another is difficult. When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60 percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Infection in people is mostly associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments.