The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has issued four resolutions banning the import of birds and their byproducts from areas that recorded an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza during November 2020, as per notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Three of the resolutions ban the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs and their thermally untreated byproducts from the Netherlands, Germany, and select areas of Russia. Meanwhile, the fourth resolution bans the import of poultry meat and table eggs from several regions in the UK.
The resolutions align with MOCCAE’s priority of ensuring food safety and security. In this context, the Ministry closely monitors the animal health situation in food import markets, and takes immediate precautionary measures when any of them are affected by pathogens. Such efforts curb the spread of pathogens in the country and protect animal health and food safety, in addition to safeguarding public health and well-being.
The import ban on poultry from the Netherlands and Germany as well as Herefordshire county and Cheshire West and Chester area in the UK followed an outbreak of a highly contagious strain of bird flu that has been circulating around Europe. To control the spread of the disease, the affected countries culled thousands of chickens.
In response to the situation in the Netherlands, MOCCAE has prohibited the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs and their thermally untreated byproducts until the country is declared disease-free.
Moreover, the Ministry has regulated the import of poultry meat and its thermally untreated byproducts as well as table eggs and their byproducts through introducing a new requirement – an export health certificate, previously agreed upon by the Netherlands and the UAE, must now accompany inbound consignments in order to release them. However, thermally treated poultry products (meat and eggs) from all regions of the Netherlands have been cleared for import.
Furthermore, MOCCAE has imposed restrictions on consignments coming from the UK. These include rejection of consignments containing table eggs and poultry meats produced post-October 14 in Herefordshire county, Cheshire West and Chester, and other areas that may be affected in the future.
Meanwhile, the import of birds, hatching eggs, and one-day-old chicks is permitted subject to providing agreed-upon health certificates that testify that the birds come from disease-free areas. The Ministry continues to allow entry of thermally treated poultry meat and egg byproducts from all UK counties, while the import of thermally untreated poultry meat and byproducts and table eggs is subject to providing health certificates.
On a similar note, MOCCAE has banned the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, and their thermally untreated byproducts from Germany until the country is declared disease-free.
However, the Ministry allows the import of hatching eggs subject to providing the agreed-upon health certificate, and continues to clear thermally treated poultry products (meat and eggs) from all regions of Germany for import.
Finally, MOCCAE has prohibited the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, and their thermally untreated byproducts from the Russian regions Yugra, Chelyabinsk Oblast, the Republic of Tatarstan, Samara Oblast, and Tomsk Oblast. However, table eggs, poultry meat, and their byproducts as well as hatching eggs and one-day-old chicks have been cleared for import subject to providing the agreed-upon health certificates.