Poultry import from Saudi Arabia banned

ABU DHABI — The UAE yesterday banned import of birds and their products from Saudi Arabia after the kingdom announced that bird flu infections were found in Riyadh, said an informed source at the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD).

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 18 Nov 2007, 8:37 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:38 AM

The Secretary-General of EAD, Majid Al Mansouri, told Khaleej Times yesterday that the UAE government had recently announced that the country had no bird flu virus.

He added that Saudi Arabia is the biggest birds’ products exporter to the UAE. “The decision of the Ministry of Environment will be enforced until confirmation from the international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Animal Health Organisation (AHO) that the spread of virus has been halted,” he explained.

Al Mansouri pointed out that the authorities concerned have taken precautionary and protective measures to ensure that there is no case of bird flu in the country.

He also assured support to help Saudi Arabia weed out the virus and prevent the virus from spreading to the GCC region and the neighbouring countries.

Saudi Arabia had announced two days ago that cases of infection had surfaced at a farm near Riyadh.

Meanwhile, the Saudi authorities have burned some 90,000 chickens during the last two days in Mazahmya and Belgrashi after discovering that 1,500 birds were infected.

The Saudi Ministry of Health had also announced the possibility of five workers being infected by the virus after they had taken part in burning the infected birds.

Mohammed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Manager of Communication and Information Department in the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), told Khaleej Times yesterday, “There is nothing to worry as the poultry products which are available in our markets are free from any such influenza and reported outbreak of bird flu.”

When asked about inspections at the border checkpoints to prevent the entry of infected poultry products, Al Reyaysa said, “Our prime duty is to ensure that the infected product is not found in our local markets. However, there is a higher committee at the Ministry of Environment that ensures the safe entry of any kind of products in the country.”

“We follow instructions of the Ministry of Environment to ensure the safety of food and other foodstuff available in the market for consumers,” added Al Reyaysa.

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