The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) must implement quarantine from July to help fight the spread of diseases such as foot-and-mouth and Rift Valley Fever, a Gulf agriculture official warned Monday.
"Member states must implement a quarantine system approved by the GCC summit held in Bahrain last December," said Abdullah Al-Mugren, head of the GCC commerce and agriculture department.
"The implementation must be mandatory as of the start of July and each member state must inform the GCC general secretariat of the appearance of any disease," he said. He did express satisfaction, however, at measures adopted by individual countries to ban the import of meat and related products from infected countries.
Saudi authorities gave a report on its success in combating the spread of Rift Valley River, which has claimed more than 100 human lives. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have already reported hundreds of foot-and-mouth cases and have adopted precautionary measures.
The Saudi agriculture ministry has said that more than 290 animals have already died from foot-and-mouth in the kingdom while another 1,845 head of cattle were infected.
The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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