Wednesday, July 21, 2010

600-sheep shipment turned back

The Gulf Today, 21 July 2010

A shipment of about 600 sheep has been rejected by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) due to the lack of a health certificate and documents specifying the exporting country.
With further steps being taken to enforce the federal regulatory procedure of medical tests on imported livestock and other animals, the MOEW has tightened control over the trading or import of such animals to the country, according to a senior ministry official.
Dr Mariam Hassan Al Shinasi, acting director general of the MOEW, said that more than 200 communicable diseases have been found to have transferred through animals which are not medically tested. 70 per cent of them may spread to human beings, she added.
“The diseases can spread from live animals, consumption of their meat products and animals waste. The ministry’s strategy is to ensure higher rates of bio-security in the country as well as strengthening food security to the residents,” she explained.
“The veterinary inspection procedures at various ports of the country closely monitor the imports to see whether they are free from infectious diseases and to strengthen the protection of existing livestock or domestic animals,” noted Al Shinasi. She pointed out that the ministry will continue its efforts to achieve optimum food security in the country by introducing more local livestock production houses in the country.
“About 2,490,147 sheep and goats have arrived at various ports of the UAE in 2009 for the purpose of slaughtering or meat production. The MOEW rejected entry to about 9,898 animals of different species, and culled the infected livestock. About 2,032 animals were confiscated and 11,105 were sent back due to irregularities in import during the past year,” she elaborated.
“The MOEW regulations prevent trafficking of live animals and their products, by implementing international conditions in this regard specified by bodies such as OIE, FAO and WHO,” added Al Shinasi.
According to her, the animals have to be examined for various infectious diseases such as foot and mouth ailments, lung infections, blood poisoning, intestinal diseases and other contagious infections with purulent skin eruptions.
“Tuberculosis, brucellosis and zoonosis are the major diseases transmitted to human beings from infected animals. The fatal diseases enter into the human body by ingestion of meat and non-sterilised milk of the infected animals or by close contact with secretions of the animals,” said the MOEW in an earlier statement.
Al Shinasi said that the importer will have to bear costs of returning the consignment, if they have not complied with the federal veterinary quarantine law.
“The ministry also urged all importers of animals to strictly abide by the law or face stringent penal actions. The importers should also produce veterinary health certificates to ensure they are free from communicable diseases. Documents as per the international regulations on transporting of the animals are also must,” she added.

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