UAE lifts 6-year ban on Jaziri sheep and goats

The animals have been banned in the UAE since 2014 over safety concerns

A shipment of Jaziri sheep and goats from Iran are tested on entry to the UAE. The breed was banned in the Emirates in 2014 but the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment lifted the ban on Friday. Courtesy: Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
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Authorities in the UAE have lifted a six-year ban on a popular breed of sheep and goats exported by Iran.

Jaziri sheep used to be one of the most popular breeds for daily consumption and sacrifice during Eid Al Adha.

But they were banned in 2014 following concerns over the breed being safe to eat.

On Friday, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment lifted the ban but put strict safety measures in place to regulate import of the livestock.

All animals must be tagged, lab-tested, and receive presumptive treatment for external and internal parasites in their country of origin.

The animals must also undergo visual examinations as well as laboratory tests. They must be sprayed with insecticides at the port of entry in the UAE.

Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Food safety and security are now at the top of our agenda. The Ministry’s decisions to ban the imports of certain breeds of livestock testify to its keenness to protect consumer health.

"The lifting of the ban is a result of the export markets’ ability to meet our rigorous food safety standards. If they fail to do so, we ensure the provision of safe alternatives in line with our drive to boost food diversity.”

The first consignment of Jaziri sheep and goats arrived to the UAE through Al Hamriya Port in Dubai this week.

Multiple consignments of the livestock are scheduled to be imported to the UAE this year.