DUBAI, The UAE has banned import of live birds from Hungary and Slovakia following an outbreak of highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, H5N2 in these countries.

The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, in an announcement said, that based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE, of the outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, H5N2, in Hungary and Slovakia, following precautionary measures have been taken: Banning 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 Hungary and Slovakia; regulating the import of poultry meat and non-heat treated products by requiring to present a health certificate form for exporting meat and meat products from Hungary and Slovakia to release consignments into the country; and regulating the import of eggs by requiring to present a health certificate form for exporting meat and meat products from Hungary and Slovakia to release consignments into the country.

However, thermally-treated poultry products (meat and eggs) have been cleared for import from all parts of Hungary and Slovakia, the Ministry added.

Kaltham Ali Kayaf, Acting Director, Animal Development & Health Department at MoCCAE, 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 further stated, that it is carefully scrutinising documentation accompanying consignments (certificate of origin, health certificate and halal certifications, among others) of food products shipped into the country. The Ministry 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.

Source: Emirates News Agency