By PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 20 July 2010
About 200 sheep imported to the UAE and found infected with contagious diseases will be euthanised by the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW).
The MOEW had rejected last month import of about 540 infected livestock and birds through major ports of the country.
As many as 810 imported sheep were culled last week, for having contagious diseases like plague of small ruminants, dengue fever, foot-and-mouth disease and Brucella.
Abdulla Salem Janan, Director of Veterinary Quarantine Department at the MOEW, said the sheep shipment with the infectious bacterial disease was inspected by veterinary specialists at the ministry. The operation was aimed at preventing spread of the disease among the country's existing livestock.
"All necessary steps had been taken by the MOEW, in coordination with other authorities concerned, to destroy the shipment of infected animals which violated quarantine procedures and other regulations related to animal welfare and transportation,” he added.
The ministry has 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.
Janan pointed out that the MOEW wanted to ensure highest safety for the health of human and domestic animals of the country, with protection from abortion-causing bacteria, which often transmits to human beings by contact with infected animals or infected meat or milk products.
“The strategic objective of the MOEW is to strengthen the country's food safety with highest global standards by increasing levels of bio-security measures like preventing transmission of epidemic diseases through implementation of tighter control over imported animals and birds,” he elaborated.
The ministry also issued an animal protection welfare guide to protect animals and birds from developing ailments and diseases, which would help protect the quality of our food.
The guide aims at boosting levels of biological safety, focusing on highest care for the animals in the country.