An early warning system for health scares that also allows the public to report animal cruelty has been launched by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
The online biosecurity early notification system allows people to report incidents related to infectious animal diseases, breach of welfare laws including cruelty and illegal possession of dangerous animals.
It will also take reports of veterinary facilities offering poor services and care.
A food safety category will allow anyone to report unsafe products found to be contaminated, unhygienic, non-halal or products sold with expired use by dates.
Reports can be made via a government online portal, with cases followed up on by the relevant inspection team.
“The user-friendly, bilingual platform engages the public in our endeavors to keep pathogens at bay,” said Saif Al Shara, assistant undersecretary for the ministry’s sustainable communities sector.
“Implementing a unified process for reporting environmental threats on a national scale will help us remain vigilant and highly responsive.”
Experts said the early notification of disease in agriculture can help reduce devastating crop damage during an outbreak.
The agricultural development and health category focuses on plant pests like the red palm weevil and Dubas bug that attacks date palms.
The platform produces investigation reports that provide updated statistics on reported incidents to track the geographical distribution of disease.
It aims to ensure authorities can effectively contain outbreaks and reduce morbidity and mortality.
Daily reports of high risk incidents will be distributed among relevant government departments to ensure a rapid response and effective containment.