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UAE bans import of birds, poultry from four countries due to bird flu concerns

UAE bans import of birds, poultry from four countries due to bird flu concerns

The import ban extends to the Netherlands, Germany, several regions in the UK and select areas in Russia

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The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has banned the import of birds and their byproducts from four countries on bird flu concerns.

Three resolutions ban the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs and their thermally untreated byproducts from the Netherlands, Germany, and select areas of Russia.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also banned the import of poultry meat and table eggs from several regions in the UK.

The decision was taken since the regions recorded an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza during November 2020 as per notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), a statement said.

The import ban on poultry from the Netherlands and Germany as well as Herefordshire county and Cheshire West and Chester area in the UK followed an outbreak of a highly contagious strain of bird flu that has been circulating around Europe.

To control the spread of the disease, the affected countries culled thousands of chickens.

The ministry said it has prohibited the import of all birds and their thermally untreated byproducts from the Netherlands until the country is declared disease-free.

All imports of poultry meat, eggs and their thermally untreated byproducts also have to fulfil a new requirement – an export health certificate, as previously agreed upon by the Netherlands and the UAE.

The certificate must accompany inbound consignments in order to release them. However, thermally treated poultry products (meat and eggs) from all regions of the Netherlands have been cleared for import.

Similarly, MOCCAE has banned the import of all species of birds and their thermally untreated byproducts from Germany until the country is declared disease-free.

However, the ministry allows the import of hatching eggs subject to providing the health certificate, and continues to clear thermally treated poultry products (meat and eggs) from all regions of Germany for import.

MOCCAE has also imposed restrictions on consignments coming from the UK. All consignments containing table eggs and poultry meats produced post-October 14 in Herefordshire county, Cheshire West and Chester, and other areas that may be affected in the future have been banned. Meanwhile, the import of birds, hatching eggs, and one-day-old chicks is permitted subject to providing health certificates that testify that the birds come from disease-free areas.

The ministry said it continues to allow entry of thermally treated poultry meat and egg byproducts from all UK counties, while the import of thermally untreated poultry meat and byproducts and table eggs is subject to providing health certificates.

Meanwhile, the MOCCAE has prohibited the import of birds their thermally untreated byproducts from the Russian regions of Yugra, Chelyabinsk Oblast, the Republic of Tatarstan, Samara Oblast, and Tomsk Oblast.

However, table eggs, poultry meat, and their byproducts as well as hatching eggs and one-day-old chicks have been cleared for import subject to providing the health certificates.

The ministry said it closely monitors the animal health situation in food import markets, and takes immediate precautionary measures when any of them are affected by pathogens.

“Such efforts curb the spread of pathogens in the country and protect animal health and food safety, in addition to safeguarding public health and well-being,” the statement added.

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