JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Environment Ministry has imposed a ban on the import of live birds, incubated eggs and chicks from Nepal as a precaution against high-risk bird influenza, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
Dr. Sanad Al-Harbi, Director General of Livestock Risks Evaluation Department at the ministry, said the ban has been imposed following reports about an outbreak of bird flu in Nepal.
He said it is a step taken in the interest of the public and to prevent the spread of the disease in the Kingdom.
The director general of the Quarantine General Department, Dr. Osama Al-Saleh, said the ban order has been circulated over all quarantines of the Kingdom. Bird flu strains have hit poultry flocks in a number of countries across the world in recent years, with some types of the disease also causing human infections and deaths.
H5N8 is highly pathogenic to birds (high death rates) and was first discovered in Ireland in 1983. Since then it has been reported in numerous locations around the world. AN Jeddah