Authorities are stunned after bird flu was confirmed as the cause of the death of more than 15,000 fowls at Yaoundé’s largest and government-run poultry.
Wednesday, the minister of livestock and fisheries responded by banning chicken sale throughout the capital and surrounding towns and villages, promising to punish defaulters.
Tens of thousands of fowls are also being slaughtered to prevent the flu from spreading. Unauthorized visits to poultries and the manipulation of poultry installations, products and waste has also been banned.
The outbreak was reported at the Complexe Avicole de Mvog-Betsi, a government run facility located in a densely populated neighborhood south of the city center.
Flu killed nearly half the complex’s 33,000 birds, said the livestock minister Taiga. Other poultry farms in the city was placed on alert urged to destroy their stock.
Across the country, authorities warned farms to look out for unusual deaths.
A similar outbreak in 2007 was confined to the north of the country but nearly crippled the national poultry industry as panic spread nationwide.
“Although Cameroon hasn’t reported a bird flu outbreak in nearly a decade – given its close proximity to hard hit Nigeria- it isn’t all that surprising that they would find themselves once again dealing with an outbreak of H5N1,” said Avian Flu Dairy, a website that monitors and reports bird flu outbreaks.