Compensation ? necessary for control
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CTA. 2006. Compensation ? necessary for control. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57434
Why compensation for slaughtered birds is important, how a compensation system was managed in Cameroon.
Compensation - necessary for control Cue: In March of 2006, Cameroon reported its first cases of the H5N1 avian flu virus. The outbreaks occurred in the north of the country, where most poultry are local birds kept by small-scale farmers; there are few commercial flocks. To prevent the disease from spreading, the government used the standard control strategy, slaughtering all domestic poultry, both healthy and diseased, within a 30 kilometre radius of the outbreak. People within this area were asked to declare all their poultry to the veterinary authorities, so that they could be slaughtered, a process known as culling. The government also paid financial compensation to the farmers for all birds that were slaughtered. The outbreak of avian flu in Cameroon was successfully controlled, not least because of the compensation that was given to the farmers. So why is paying compensation so important in controlling an outbreak? To find out more about the reasons for offering compensation, and how the process worked in Cameroon, Martha Chindong spoke to Dr Linus Chimangha, an inspector in the Cameroonian ministry responsible for agriculture. IN: ?I will say compensation is one ?? OUT: ??have hope in our poultry sector.? DUR?N: 5?20? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Linus Chimangha of the agriculture ministry in Cameroon was speaking to Martha Chindong. The interview comes from a radio resource pack on avian flu produced by CTA. Transcript Chimangha I will say compensation is one of the things involved in stamping out the disease. It involved culling, or the massive killing of all the birds where the outbreak was detected, and when these birds are killed we now go into compensation of the farmers involved. What happened is that a census of all the people within that radius who had poultry was conducted. They counted the chickens to know who has what, and then after that the teams which were mobilised destroyed all these birds in a systematic way, and then the farmers concerned were compensated, and the compensation which was put in place was 2000 francs per chicken or duck or goose, and for pigeons it ranged from 500 francs to 1000 francs. Chindong Was there any form of registration, or were they just counted like this and compensated? Chimangha No previous registration, except for people who maybe had commercial poultry flocks. But announcements were made for them to own up and come and declare that they had chickens, and when they declared that they had chickens the technicians went out to ensure that the chickens were actually seen, and then they counted them. Chindong Was there any form of discrimination? Chimangha No discrimination whatsoever. If you had 10 chickens and they were counted and destroyed you were compensated. If you had 20, or 50? and again, whether you were a man or a woman or a child, everybody was treated just the same. Chindong You said that compensation, financial compensation was 2000 francs per chick. Is it not too small? Chimangha Not at all. Some people may consider that it is small for the fact that if they maybe took their chickens to the market they could have sold for 2500 francs or 3000, but there in the north chickens are generally very cheap. Then again, within this time of the outbreak, you know that there was this psychosis, this general depression, and people were scared of consuming poultry products. So at that time chickens were selling just too cheap. You could buy a big chicken for more than?if anything just between 500, 700 or maximum 1000 francs. Even eggs, they were being sold as cheap as 25 francs per egg. So this measure was even welcomed by the farmers for the fact that all their chickens had to be cleared away, and the government at least gave them something, so the farmers really appreciated the measures that were instituted. It was in no way small. And this helped to encourage, for the fact that there was compensation, it helped to encourage the people, so that if there were any sick fowls around, they would come out voluntarily and declare, they would not try to hide them and take them and sell them in the market clandestinely. So everything was well done, and I think it is thanks to these measures which were instituted that the situation was brought under control. Chindong Can that be termed the significance of compensation, or is there another significance? Chimangha I think this is the significance, the importance of it. First to bring the disease under control, to motivate the farmers so that they don?t feel so depressed, and equally so that the farmers can have some little money and keep on in business when the disease is eventually brought under control. Chindong Now that reminds me, what is the ministry doing to re-launch this poultry sector, because farmers are really down? Chimangha We had a meeting in May, which was really a brainstorming with all the poultry producers in Cameroon and their representatives, and I think part of the request made by the farmers to the government was to see how they can mobilise funds and give some micro-credit, some loans to poultry farmers, particularly to those smallholders. And then to see how people who incurred no matter what loss around that time, they could be compensated. Because within that period of outbreak it was only this culling procedure which was implemented in the areas where the disease was discovered, it was only those people who were compensated. But many other people who incurred some losses because their products were not being bought, they have not been compensated, so there was an appeal made to government that such cases could also be considered. In Bafousan so many thousands of eggs, more than some 36,000 were lost. Here in Yaound‚, hatcheries, they destroyed a lot of day old chicks, a lot of layers; so most of those people they are praying that the government will do something. Chindong Any other thing that you would love us to discuss? Chimangha Just to say that the general fear that was brought into people?s minds with the outbreak of the bird flu, it is dying down, and really it should die down. People should not be afraid. They should consume poultry products as much as possible, but have them well boiled. Their chickens and their eggs, they should be well boiled. And people should be encouraged to go into poultry production, because with all the measures being put into place, even if the disease comes now I think we are better placed to fight it than we used to be before. So let us have hope in our poultry sector. End of track.