Imports Blocked Following Bird Flu Outbreak in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has blocked all poultry imports from Saudi Arabia following an outbreak of bird flu in its capital Riyadh, reports Chris McCullough.
calendar icon 2 January 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

UAE took action on Christmas Eve imposing the ban after an outbreak of a highly contagious H5N8 strain of the disease in the Azizia market in Riyadh.

According to reports, the outbreak led to the culling of 16,000 ducks and a flock of 60,000 birds that were also exposed to the virus.

The ban, imposed by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, includes all kinds of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs and non-heat-treated wastes from Saudi Arabia.

Imports of poultry meat, non-heat-treated products and table eggs from the affected area were also banned.

However, the UAE ministry added that any untreated products shipped prior to 1 December 2017 are still permitted following a verification of the accompanying certificates. Heat-treated poultry products, such as meat and eggs, are also cleared for importing from Saudi Arabia.

By taking these moves the ministry says it hopes to prevent the bird flu virus' impact on the country's poultry health and safety, in addition to protecting public health and well-being.

Earlier this year Saudi Arabia imposed its own bans on poultry imports from other infected countries, like Bulgaria, in a bid to prevent the virus spreading.

Jordan also placed its own ban on frozen poultry imports from Saudi Arabia following the outbreak.

Jordan’s Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said: "All imports of poultry, frozen poultry and poultry meat which didn’t undergo thermal processing are banned from entering the country."

The spokesperson highlighted that although Jordan is 90 per cent self-sufficient with poultry meat, he said some traders import frozen poultry directly from Saudi Arabia.

Haddadin added: "The ministry upholds the ban on poultry imports until the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) declares the infected countries as free from the virus."

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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