UAE bans birds from parts of Russia

Move follows outbreak of bird flu in central Russian region

Staff Report
17:13 January 2, 2018

Dubai: The UAE has banned the import of birds, \eggs and meat from parts of Russia after an outbreak of bird flu (H5N2) in the country’s central region, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced on Tuesday.

Based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health about an outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu in a farm in Kostromskaya Oblast in Russia, which led to the death of more than 660,000 birds, the ministry has taken the precautionary measures.

It has banned the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs, meat and meat products and non-heat-treated wastes from the affected region and from previously infected provinces of Respublika Kalmykia and Astrakhanskaya Oblast.

However, thermally-treated poultry products (meat and eggs) have been cleared for import from all parts of Russia.

Dr Majid Sultan Al Qasimi, assistant undersecretary for the food diversity sector at the ministry, said: “These measures reiterate the ministry’s keenness in achieving its strategic objectives including enhancing bio-security levels and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country. In doing so, the ministry prevents the bird flu virus and related risks and impacts on the country’s poultry health and safety, in addition to protecting public health and well-being.”

The ministry said it is carefully scrutinising documentation accompanying consignments (certificate of origin, health certificate and halal certifications, among others) of food products shipped into the country.

It is also conducting sensory detection to ensure that the quality of the products — as per their identification cards — 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.