DUBAI– The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) on Thursday announced a ban on the import of live fowls and non-heat-treated bird products from East Malaysia.
The ban was imposed following a notification from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on 06 August of the outbreak of the highly contagious H5N1 bird flu strain.
According to the ministry it has imposed a temporary ban on the “import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs and their non-heat-treated waste” from East Malaysia, particularly the states of Sabah and Sarawak.
Likewise, the ministry said included in the ban is the import of poultry meat and non-heat-treated by-products and table eggs from Sabah”.
However, the ministry clarified that importation of heat-treated poultry products, such as meat and eggs, from other parts of Malaysia is allowed.
Dr Shaikh Majid Sultan Al Qasimi, assistant undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at MOCCAE, said they are taking necessary precautionary measures to prevent any strains of the bird flu virus that spread in East Malaysia from reaching the UAE.
“We are confident such efforts will mitigate the impact of the bird flu on the UAE’s poultry health and safety, in addition to protecting public health and well-being,” he added.
As part of the precautionary measures, MOCCAE is carefully examining documents accompanying consignments (certificate of origin, health certificate and halal certifications, among others) of food products being shipped to UAE.
The ministry is also employing sensory detection equipment to ensure the quality of the products complies with the country’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. WAM