SFDA imposes temporary ban on Belgian poultry products after avian flu outbreak

Author: Mohammed RasooldeenTue, 2017-07-04 03:00ID: 1499127899284557500
RIYADH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has imposed a temporary ban on the importing of chicken, eggs, and their bi-products from Belgium, following the spread of the H5N8 avian virus in some parts of the country.
The move follows an advisory from the World Health Organization (WHO). An SFDA official said the ban would continue until the threat of the virus was eradicated.
Belgium’s Ambassador Geert Criel told Arab News: “A number of cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza were recently identified in Belgium. Most of the reported cases relate to hobby holdings of captive birds, but two relate to poultry dealers. These dealers, however, do not supply poultry to the commercial sector. Most of the identified cases are linked. As required, Belgium reported these cases to the World Organization for Animal Health.”
He said the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) immediately started taking the necessary measures to control and prevent the spread of the disease, when the virus was identified.
Measures included the killing and destruction of birds held by dealers and private owners where the virus was suspected to be, the introduction of a 3 km safety zone where the movement of birds was restricted, and a larger 10 km surveillance zone.
There were also a number of countrywide preventative measures taken.
“The incidents, which mainly concern the hobby sector and do not supply the professional sector, appear to be limited. The number of suspected cases is decreasing sharply. No new cases have been detected in the past 10 days,” the ambassador added.
Main category: Saudi Arabia

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