Saudi bans import of live birds, eggs from Malaysia on bird flu concerns

The move comes after a fresh outbreak of avian influenza cases in Malaysia



Saudi Arabia has issued a temporary ban on importing living birds, hatching eggs and chicks from Malaysia on fears of bird flu.

The kingdom’s Environment, Water and Agriculture ministry said that the move comes in response to a warning issued by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), about the outbreak of avian influenza cases in Malaysia.

Sanad Al-Harbi, director general of the Livestock Risk Assessment Department added that the ban was taken as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of the disease in the kingdom.

The Malaysian state of Sabah had first disclosed an outbreak of a highly contagious strain of H5N1 bird flu on a farm in early August.

The outbreak marked the first case of the highly pathogenic bird flu in Sabah, located on the island of Borneo.

Last week, a report submitted to the OIE stated that the state had witnessed four more outbreaks of the H5N1 virus, with 3,029 cases reported across four farms. While 29,645 birds were found to be susceptible to the virus, 3,028 were killed by the flu and 26,617 birds had been slaughtered.

The UAE had announced a temporary ban on the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs from East Malaysia in early August.

Read more: UAE bans import of live birds from East Malaysia on bird flu fears

Kuwait imposed a similar ban last week.

Read more: Kuwait bans poultry from Germany, Malaysia