Jordan Denies it Banned Meat Imports from Palestinian Territories
Jordan denied Sunday press reports that the kingdom banned livestock and meat imports from the Palestinian territories following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, reported the Jordan Times Newspaper.
"Jordan already does not import livestock, neither from the Palestinian territories nor Israel, and so we deny that we banned the imports of live cattle [from there]," said Assad Abul Ragheb, livestock administration director at the agriculture ministry.
Reports have quoted Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb as saying that the ministry "banned livestock imports as well as derivative products from the Palestinian territories to prevent the disease from spreading to the Kingdom."
But the ministry official told the Jordan Times that "this is not true."
He added that Jordan is monitoring the livestock health situation in the Palestinian territories because of their proximity to the kingdom.
The official stressed the kingdom implements at regular six-month intervals a program to vaccinate livestock and keep the disease at bay.
A foot-and-mouth vaccine is currently being used in Jordan and is effective in protecting livestock in 70 to 80 percent of cases against contraction from the highly infectious virus.
But according to experts, the virus can change its form, a fact that makes the vaccination not completely safe.
At least twenty-two cases of the disease were reported in the Palestinian territories.
Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian health ministers held a meeting Monday to discuss the discovery of foot-and-mouth disease, said AFP.
Israel supplied the Palestinians with 200,000 doses of foot-and-mouth vaccine Sunday.
Palestinian officials said the outbreak of the disease was due to Israel’s closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
But Israel’s health minister said that the Palestinian Authority should retract the accusation if the laboratory tests reveal that the territories were free from the disease – Albawaba.com