UAE Bans Russian Live Birds Import after Virus Outbreak

The United Arab Emirates is blocking imports of live birds and related bird products from Russia into the country based on a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) health warning of a bird flu H5N2 outbreak on a farm in the central region of Kurskaya Oblast in Russia, The National reported.

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

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) announced the ban on Tuesday, saying the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs, meats and meat products and non-heat-treated wastes from the affected region and from previously infected was being prohibited.

“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,” Dr. Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, assistant undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at the environment ministry.

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

The authorities said 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.