Halal Foods Dubai: Livestock From Ebola-Hit Countries Not In Dubai
Bahrain announces ban on import of livestock and halal foods and meat from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria; UAE yet to take a decision
Livestock from the West African countries affected by the Ebola virus is not imported to Dubai, a senior official of the Dubai Municipality (DM) said on Wednesday, even as Bahrain announced a ban on import of livestock, fresh and frozen meat and its byproducts from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria because of the virus.
A senior official from the Veterinary Section of the Public Health Services Department at the DM said that there is no import of livestock and halal foods from the affected countries.
Even as Bahrain implemented the ban on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that Ebola does not spread through livestock and by consuming its products.
WHO also does not recommend a ban on cross-border movement of livestock as of yet.
An official of the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) said the decision to ban import of livestock and halal foods from West African countries should be taken by the Ministry of Health (MoH). Officials from the MoH were not available for comment on Wednesday though, in a statement released on Sunday, the ministry said that the UAE was free of the virus. The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) also said they would implement the decision if directed by the MoEW.
In neighbouring Bahrain, the ban was implemented by the Ministry of Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning as part of a cabinet order. The resolution also bans the import of fresh, frozen meat and halal foods and its byproducts from any other country where the disease might emerge.
The decision is a pre-emptive measure to prevent the Ebola virus from reaching Bahrain, Minister of Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning Dr Juma’a bin Ahmed Al Ka’ abi said, adding that the step is part of a comprehensive system of measures taken by the ministries in Bahrain to protect people’s health and the environment.
Dr Al Ka’abi affirmed that the ministry is in continuous contact with neighbouring countries and specialised organisations to monitor the spread of the disease. Since the latest outbreak that began in February, at least 1,013 people have died mostly in West African countries of Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Since no vaccine or treatment is yet available for Ebola, a panel of experts convened by the WHO said on Tuesday that it is ethical to use experimental drugs given the size of the outbreak.
Originally published on http://khaleejtimes.com