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UAE bans fruits from Kerala; animals from South Africa

DUBAI, May 29, 2018

The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) has banned the import of fruits and vegetables from Kerala (India) and animal products from South Africa, said a report.

All live animals, including sheep, goats, cattle, buffalos, camels, gazelles, and their non-heat-treated by-products from the Letsemeng province in South Africa have been banned, reported state news agency Wam.

The ministry noted that these measures are aimed at ensuring healthy and safe food for consumers, enhance biosecurity levels, and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country.

The first decision came based on the information received and published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the registration of a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kerala.

Additionally, Bahrain has also imposed a temporary ban on imports of fruits and vegetables from Kerala as fears grew over an outbreak of the deadly virus in the Indian state, added another news report.

Preliminary information indicates that the primary host of the disease is the fruit bat, where the virus is transmitted through secretions from the bat to the fruit that it feeds on or touches. Mangoes, dates and bananas are the bat’s most preferred fruit. There have been cases of transmission of the disease among humans and between humans and animals as well, the Wam report said.

Based on UAE Federal Law No. 10 of 2015 on food safety and through its management of the fast food alert system, the ministry banned the imports of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala. It also issued a circular to the concerned local authorities including the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the municipalities of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah to prevent the entry of all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala, added the report.

Tags: | UAE | South Africa | Fruits |

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