Highly contagious virus prompts UAE to ban chicken eggs and meat from Russia

The ban does not include thermally-treated poultry products from all parts of Russia

The UAE banned live birds and meat from the central region of Kostromskaya Oblast in Russia following an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N2 bird flu strain, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment said on Tuesday.

All species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs, meats and meat products and non-heat-treated wastes from the affected region, and from the previously infected provinces of Kalmykia and Astrakhanskaya Oblast, are prohibited from entering the UAE. Thermally-treated poultry products have however been cleared for import from all parts of Russia.

"These measures reiterate the ministry's keenness in achieving its strategic objectives including enhancing bio-security levels and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country," said Dr Majid Al Qassimi, assistant undersecretary for the food diversity sector at the ministry.

The ministry is carefully scrutinising documentation accompanying consignments — certificate of origin, health certificate and halal certifications, among others — of food products shipped into the country. The ministry is also conducting sensory detection to ensure the quality of the products — as per their identification cards — complies with the UAE's stringent standards. Samples of food products from shipments are transferred to laboratories for the necessary tests to ensure they are safe and fit to enter the country.