Most residenst in Dormaa-Ahenkro are adamantly consuming bush meat despite the public education about the possible resultant health risk of eating such delicacies following the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Viral Disease (EVD).
Most of the local chop bars used bush meat, especially grass cutter in the preparation of their local dishes without ascertaining the carcasses’ health status if they were freed of any disease and therefore wholesome for consumption.
A lot of people including students, artisans, public workers and farmers obstinately enjoyed the local dishes like ‘fufu’ and light soup, ‘banku’ and groundnut or palm nut soup among other staple foods prepared with grasscutter, antelope among other games without regard to possible contraction of EVD through that.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Dormaa Central Municipality of Brong-Ahafo Region on Thursady, a chop operator, Mr. Ofosu Addo, said patronage of grasscutter sale was affected drastically at the onset of the EVD when education about it was intensified.
He however said lately sales had again gone up sharply, saying demand had exceeded supply now and as a result “I find it difficult sometimes getting grasscutter to buy as we were initially buying some from Cote d’ Ivoire but we stopped to rely on local suppliers”.
Mr Addo attributed the high patronage of the grasscutter meat these days to the low publicity given about the dangers on the causes of the EVD.
The GNA also learnt that the veterinary officers who frequented the chop bars to ascertain the health status of the grasscutter before they were finally used in food preparation had stopped such routine visits.
When the GNA contacted the offices of both the Municipal Veterinary Service and the Environmental Health Department, the officials in-charge, Madam Scholastica Delle and Mrs. Constance Martin-Yeboah, respectively denied that their offices were responsible for inspecting the status of bush meat before they were used in food preparation at the chop bars.
They said people were just feeling reluctant to heed the advice on the risk associated with consumption of such animals and therefore promised to step up public education and campaign about the latest development through radio stations.
They indicated the regulation and inspection of bush animals lied outside their purview, as their activity was restricted only to the slaughter houses where they inspected livestock (cattle, goat and sheep) before they were slaughtered for public consumption.
Mr Emmanuel Siaw, another chop bar operator said they bought grasscutter from the hunters who hoarded them in refrigerators for onward selling to the general public even when no health checks had been done on them.
Kwabena Gargo, a farmer said he was still consuming bush meat because there was no reported case of the EVD in Ghana yet.