Dubai: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has lifted the ban on importing hatching eggs, table eggs, chicks, processed beef, veal, mutton, lamb, goat and chicken meat from Egypt, in addition to opening the door for importing live cattle and sheep from the country.
The decision followed meetings between MOCCAE and Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and food control authorities, and came close on the heels of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) declaring multiple poultry farms in Egypt free from the avian influenza virus. The Ministry has also lifted the import ban on domestic live birds from Hungary after receiving confirmation from OIE that the country is now free from the virus.
On the other hand, MOCCAE has issued nine resolutions, banning the import of birds and their byproducts from areas that recorded outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza in November and December 2020, in keeping with notifications from OIE.
Eight of the resolutions ban the import of live domestic and wild birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs, and their thermally untreated byproducts from Ukraine, Croatia, a county in Sweden, the French island of Corsica, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and certain regions of Russia until they are declared disease-free. Moreover, they regulate the import of poultry meat and its thermally untreated byproducts as well as table eggs from these regions through introducing a new requirement — an export health certificate previously agreed upon by the exporting country and the UAE. However, thermally treated poultry products from all countries have been cleared for import.
In response to the situation in Sweden, MOCCAE imposed restrictions that include the rejection of consignments containing poultry meat produced post-October 23 in Skane County and other areas that may be affected in the future until the ministry and its Swedish counterpart agree upon a health certification.
Furthermore, MOCCAE’s restrictions include the rejection of inbound consignments containing table eggs and poultry meat produced post-October 17 in Corsica and other areas of France that may be affected in the future until the ministry and its French counterpart agree upon a health certification.
Meanwhile, the ninth resolution imposes restrictions on consignments coming from the United Kingdom. These include rejection of consignments containing table eggs and poultry meat produced post-October 14 in Herefordshire county, Cheshire West and Chester, and other areas that may be affected in the future until agreeing on a health certificate form. 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 as well as table eggs is subject to providing health certificates.
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.