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UAE ban for Croatian poultry as bird flu hits country

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Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

05-Apr-2017

Croatia culled almost 250 chickens after four outbreaks of bird flu on small farms
Croatia culled almost 250 chickens after four outbreaks of bird flu on small farms

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned a number of live bird and poultry product imports from Croatia, following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The country’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment said on Tuesday 4 April, that imports of live birds, hatching eggs and thermally untreated waste from Croatia have been banned. Poultry meat, thermally untreated products and eggs have been banned only from Krapinsko-Zagorska, the region of Croatia’s latest bird flu outbreak.

UAE’s government has been keen to raise the national level of food safety in the country and has been working on policies to improve food safety throughout its supply chain – and this includes temporarily restricting imports if a problem arises.

Multiple bird flu strains

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported on 17 March that a new outbreak of the HPAI strain H5N5 had hit several small farms in Croatia. OIE claimed 248 birds had been culled to stop the disease from spreading, with the country already fighting another strain of bird flu.

Croatia will still be able to export thermally treated poultry products, including meat and treated eggs, to the UAE as these products do not fall under the new trade restriction.

A number of bird flu strains have rocked the country since November 2016. A number of HPAI strains, notably the H5N8 variant , have spread across Europe and the Middle East, leading to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of birds and forcing farmers to move chickens indoors.

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