The Upper East Regional Public Health Emergency Management Committee (PHEMC), says animals vaccinated with certified anthrax vaccines before June 20, 2023, are allowed to be slaughtered for consumption.

It however noted that such animals should be slaughtered under strict supervision by Veterinary and Environmental Health Officers, preferably at designated slaughterhouses or places certified by Veterinary Officers.

This was in a statement signed by Alhaji Abubakari Inusah, the Chief Director of the Regional Coordinating Council on behalf of Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Regional Minister and Chair of the PHEMC.

The statement said the Committee, after extensive deliberations, unanimously agreed upon the advice of its technical experts at an emergency meeting, to review the anthrax outbreak situation in the Region.

The PHEMC in the statement reinforced the ban on the movement of animals, sale, consumption of meat and meat products and slaughtering of animals vaccinated after the stated date, to check the spread of the anthrax outbreak.

The ban applied to cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and donkeys.

However, the Committee noted that animals from neighbouring countries, Burkina Faso, Togo, and Niger were allowed to pass through the Region after certification by Veterinary Officers at the various points of entry to the Region.

“All dead animals are to be reported to the nearest Veterinary Officers, community volunteers, Assembly Members and Environmental Health Officers for investigations. Community members are to avoid eating sick or dead animals,” the statement advised.

It indicated that the Committee would subsequently be meeting to further review the situation and called for the cooperation of all for a successful containment of the disease outbreak in the Region.

Following the Committee’s statement, some Muslims in the Bolgatanga Municipality expressed mixed feelings on the impact the ban would have on this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebration.

Mr Sadat Dabo, a staff of the Bolgatanga Office of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, said the PHEMC should have continued to strictly enforce the ban without any exception, and questioned the number of Veterinary Officers in the Region to ensure strict adherence to the slaughtering of animals vaccinated before June 20, 2023.

Ms Rukaya Issaka, another Muslim, said before any animal was slaughtered by a Muslim, some recitation had to be done, and that the recitation based on faith could cleanse the animal of any disease.

“In fact in Islam, we slaughter only healthy animals, and so once an animal is sick or dies, we do not eat it. The ban and the conditions given will not affect the Eid-ul-Adha celebration. Those with animals will still kill them and make merry Nothing will change,” she said.