Dubai: The UAE is restricting imports from an affected province of Philippines which has been hit with its first outbreak of avian flu, said the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on Monday.
To protect the emirates, the ministry said it is locking down its import control gates to guard against any incoming live or processed bird products originating from the province of Pampanga, Philippines.
Dr Majid Sultan Al Qasimi, Director of Animal Health and Development Department, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, said the action was “based on the notification from the World Organization for Animal Health about the registration of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the Republic of the Philippines.”
Philippine Agriculture Chief Emmanuel Piñol on Sunday said in a television interview on CNN that the newly-discovered strain of bird flu in Pampqanga is not the H5N6 strain that can be transmitted to humans.
The Philippines is culling upwards of 200,000 chickens, ducks and quail to eradicate the spread of the outbreak.
The UAE’s Environment ministry, meanwhile, said on Monday that it has prohibited “all kinds of live domestic and wild birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs ... [and] the import of poultry meat and thermally not treated products and table eggs from the affected province of Pampanga.”
However, the UAE will allow “the importation of thermally-treated poultry products (treated meat and processed egg products) and thermally treated poultry waste from all of the Republic of the Philippines.”
The ministry said it is “keen to raise the level of food safety and ensure the provision of safe food to the consumer. It works to implement the Federal Law No. 10 of 2015 on the safety of food, which applies to all establishments licensed to trade food or feed, and consignments coming to the country or passing through its territory.”
When a shipment of food products is received by the authorities in the country, the documents accompanying the consignments (certificate of origin, health certificate and other required certificates such as Halal certificate) are strictly verified, the ministry said.