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Thu 4 Jan 2018 01:10 PM

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UAE bans import of live birds from Netherlands

UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment acts after outbreak of strain of bird flu in European country

UAE bans import of live birds from Netherlands

The UAE has announced a ban on the import of live birds from the Netherlands following an outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, H5N8.

The UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) said it has taken action based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about the outbreak in the Flevoland province of the Netherlands which has led to destroying more than 150,000 chickens.

The UAE said in a statement that it has banned the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs and their non-heat-treated by-products from the Netherlands.

It has also banned the import of poultry meat and non-heat-treated products and table eggs from the Flevoland province. However, thermally treated poultry products (meat and eggs) from all parts of the Netherlands have been cleared for import.

Dr Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at MOCCAE, said: “These measures reiterate the Ministry's keenness in achieving its strategic objectives including enhancing biosecurity levels and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country.

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

MOCCAE said it is carefully scrutinising documentation accompanying consignments of food products shipped into the country. The Ministry is also conducting sensory detection to ensure that the quality of the products complies with the UAE’s stringent 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.