Saudi Arabia, UAE Ban Imports of European Lamb Meat Due to Spread of Mouth-and-Foot
Saudi Arabia has ordered a ban on imports of all types of sheep meat and their products made in the countries of the European Union after the spread of the mouth-and-foot disease, reported Al Watan Arabic daily. Meanwhile, the UAE made a similar decision as it boycotted the British products for the same reason, although no official statement was made.
The two countries have already banned importing of cattle products fearing the mad cow disease.
The Saudi authorities have also ordered veterinary labs across the kingdom to closely observe all imported meat and make sure it is also free of diseases like cattle plague.
According to the al Watan, the ministry of commerce has issued a statement accusing some official departments in the EU of cheating and attempting to smuggle the banned commodities in to the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Khalid Sharif, head of the UAE’s Food Control Section, told Gulf News daily that the authorities were evaluating the market stock of British pork and other meat products.
"We can't issue a statement until all the information has been obtained," he said. "But the quantity of British meat, such as pork, that's imported into Dubai is quite low.
"Whatever stock is currently in the market will have undergone our strict quality control checks and no problems have been reported. We receive pork and other meat from various countries in Europe and the United States. So supply shouldn't be a big problem."
But a local veterinarian was quoted by the paper as saying that "the disease is highly contagious and may spread over great distances with the movement of infected or contaminated animals, products, objects and people.
"People can be infected through skin wounds or the oral mucosa by handling diseased stock or by drinking infected milk, but not by eating meat from infected animals.
"Once meat is cooked, it kills the virus and doesn't infect humans. The human infection is temporary and mild and so foot and mouth disease is not considered a public health problem," the expert said – Albawaba.com
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