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UAE bans import of poultry, meats from parts of Russia on bird flu fears

Gulfbusiness.com logo Gulfbusiness.com 17/01/2019 Aarti Nagraj
a close up of a chicken: Poultry Farmer Raises Battery Chickens Amid Bird Flu Scare © Motivate Publishing Poultry Farmer Raises Battery Chickens Amid Bird Flu Scare

The UAE has banned the import of poultry, meat and live birds from parts of Russia, following the outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, H5N2, the ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced on Thursday.

The import ban was based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about the outbreak of H5N2 in the region of Rostovskaya Oblast in Russia.

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The ban applies to all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs, meats and meat products and non-heat-treated wastes from the affected region.

The ministry has also implemented the ban on previously infected provinces, including Kurskaya Oblast, Astrakhanskaya Oblast, Respublika Kalmykiya, Kostromskaya Oblast, and Voronezhskaya Oblast in the Russian Federation, official news agency WAM reported.

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However, the ministry clarified that thermally-treated poultry products (meat and eggs) have been cleared for import from all parts of Russia.

According to the OIE, 82 cases of the bird flu have been reported this month in Russia, including 442,211 cases.

The ministry said it is carefully scrutinising documentation accompanying consignments (certificate of origin, health certificate and halal certifications, among others) of food products shipped into the country.

It is also conducting sensory detection to ensure that the quality of the products – as per their identification cards – complies with the UAE’s standards.

Samples of food products from shipments are transferred to laboratories for the necessary tests to ensure they are safe and fit to enter the country.

Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, director, Animal Development at Health Department at the ministry said: “These measures reiterate the Ministry’s keenness in achieving its strategic objectives including enhancing bio-security levels and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country.

“In doing so, the Ministry prevents the bird flu virus and related risks and impacts on the country’s poultry health and safety, in addition to protecting public health and well-being.”

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