Bid to boost local cattle production

ABU DHABI - The National Consultative Council (NCC) has proposed the establishment of a government company to promote local production of cattle farming and reduce dependence on foreign imports.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Tue 17 Feb 2004, 12:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:44 PM

In its second session of the 15th Legislative Chapter, chaired by the NCC Speaker, Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Masoud, the house on Monday recommended devising of a well thought-out plan to encourage national cattle-breeders and financially support them to enhance local production of cattle wealth and help achieve self-sufficiency in meat products.

The house also commended adopting of strict monitoring measures to avoid the outbreak of any kind of zoonotic diseases alien to the country and resorting to frozen beef products as a safe alternative to livestock.

The house had earlier recommended import of frozen meat products into the UAE instead of livestock, to prevent the spread of different infections that could affect animals while being transported in to the country.

Member, Khalifa bin Jubara Al Marrar, suggested a company similar to Asmak project should be set up to encourage the national production of animal wealth and boost the export potential of the country in terms of livestock.

The International Fish Farming Company (Asmak) was set up in May 1999 through the efforts of the UAE Offsets Group (UOG), and with the support of the Abu Dhabi Government with a paid-in capital of Dh300 million, to produce, process and market quality fish and fish products at competitive prices in the local market, and to establish itself as the leading seafood exporter in the region.

The company also aims at maintaining an environmentally friendly and sustainable production quality to assist in protecting and preserving the fishery reserves of the UAE, in working closely with the government to develop restocking programmes to enhance wild fisheries.

Mohammed Rashid Al Nasiri, another NCC member, claimed that Al Guwaifat Quarantine Centre for isolating suspected animals, is not working with its full capacity, and suggested transfering the cadres and equipment at the centre to other entry point in the country.

The house, meanwhile listened on Monday to a report presented by its Municipality and Public Utilities Committee on the import of livestock into the country, following the committee's meeting with concerned authorities in the country.

According to the report, the Abu Dhabi Municipality has stated that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, is the authority concerned with the import of livestock as per the Federal Law no 6 of 1979, and that the municipality is engaged in monitoring imported frozen meat products by checking out their compliance with general public health conditions.

Officials at the municipality suggested that the best alternative for importing livestock is to enhance local production and provide necessary requirements for local cattle-breeders.

The report also said that according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the UAE annually imports 600,000 to 800,000 cattle heads, 600,000 from Somalia, 800,000 from Iran, 300,000 from Pakistan, 250,000 from India, 30,000 from Syria, Jordan, Oman and Lebanon.

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