Cameroon Avian Flu Outbreak Spreads to Main Poultry Region

  • West region banned sales of poultry, eggs after cases found
  • Industry organization will probably revise production target

Cameroon is struggling to contain an avian flu outbreak even after slaughtering more than 200,000 fowls as the poultry industry says this year’s production target of 50 million chickens is unlikely to be met.

The disease has reached other parts of the country after it was discovered at the central African nation’s largest poultry farm near the capital, Yaounde, two weeks ago, said Francois Djonou, head of the Interprofessional Poultry Organization of Cameroon, by phone. “If the outbreak continues to spread as it is doing, then you can be sure that hundreds of farms will be shut down.”

Authorities banned the sale of poultry and eggs in the West region after several cases were found this week, Governor Augustine Fonka Awa said by phone. The West region is home to 7 million fowls and supplies 80 percent of all poultry products consumed in Cameroon annually, while traders from Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Congo Republic normally get their supplies in the area. Gabon stopped importing poultry from Cameroon last month.

The outbreak means that the poultry sector will have to revise its production target, which was to increase by 5 million fowls to 50 million this year, Dojoun said. “At this rate, we’re not sure to reach even the 45 million produced last year,” he said.

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