The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, in charge of Livestock, Dr. Louisa Hannah Bissiw, has announced a ban on beef and pork products from the United States of America (USA), Canada and Southern American countries with immediate effect.
According to Dr. Hannah Bissiw, the ban has been necessitated by a strong need to protect Ghanaians from the possible content of chemicals that pose a threat to their health.
The Deputy Minister, who was speaking at a special meeting between the ministry and importers of poultry and meat products in the country in Accra, stated that Ghana lacked the capacity to ascertain the contents of such chemicals in the products imported from the countries in question, therefore was taking the pre-emptive measure to control the consumption of such products imported into the country.
She indicated that, the measures were important in Ghana’s quest to protect its citizens from foods that had health implications on them.
She also announced the ban on cow snout, throat and sinews, warning those who may defy the ban by importing the products of rigorous sanctions.
The meeting was organized to deliberate on government’s imposition of a fine on containers without permits at the ports and a new directive to subsequently return such containers to their sources.
The Deputy Minister declared that, any importer that may attempt to bring in a container without permit into the country would have the container returned without mercy.
She explained that containers without permits that entered the ports on or before March 31, 2014 were the ones to be cleared upon payment of the fine that is yet to be finalized.
However, any container that attempts coming into the ports after that date without permit would be refused entry without recourse to any fine or penalty, advising them to desist from falsifying documents to clear their containers since the Ministry has means of detecting that fraud.
Dr. Bissiw assured them that the Ministry has created the enabling environment for the processing of permits.
For their part, the importers, who were affected by the imposition of the fine, pleaded with the Deputy Minister to tamper justice with mercy but she remained adamant on the fine, stating that each affected container that is at the port but had no permit would attract a penalty of GH20,000.00.
The importers also sought an intervention on containers without permit that were on the high seas at the moment, but that was turned down.
She informed them of many other measures to be put in place in the future to protect the local farmer from the effects of the unlawful importation of some poultry and meat products.
The measures include a quota on the amount of poultry and meat products an importer would be allowed to bring into the country and also importers would be given such quota based on the amount of meat and poultry they purchase locally.
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