Morocco and Algeria livestock added to UAE's bluetongue disease risk list

Morocco and Algeria have been added to the list of countries whose livestock are affected by Bluetongue disease. Importing susceptible animals from these countries, therefore, should be under preconditions, said the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW).

Bluetongue disease or catarrhal fever is a non-contagious, non-zoonotic, insect-borne viral disease afflicting ruminants mainly sheep and less frequently cattle, goats, buffalo, deer, dromedaries and antelope. It is caused by the Bluetongue virus.

The MoEW has attached the names of Morocco and Algeria to the Ministerial Decree No.(192) for the year 2009 on animals affected by Bluetongue disease.

The adoption of the resolution was based on information received from the World Organisation for Animal Health as both countries are the hotbeds of the Bluetongue disease.

The two conditions that apply for the import of live animals and their products to the UAE from these two countries stipulate that these animals certified as not having been exposed to mosquito bites and Culicoides for a period not less than 28 days before the date of shipment. The animals should be subjected during this period to laboratory tests for the detection of antibodies to the disease or to determine the virus of Bluetongue and the results should be negative.

Also, the animals should have been vaccinated prior to export, but not before than 60 days prior to export. In case of imported donor animals for semen, eggs or embryos, they should be protected from the bites of mosquitoes to the same period of not less than 60 days before and during the collection of sperm or eggs or embryos.

The donor animals should have been subjected to virus isolation tests every 7 days and the results of blood samples should be negative both at the start of fluid collection and at the end.

The decree has also stipulated to provide certificates of origin for imported animals at the port of entry, as well as application of all health conditions and procedures for quarantine and animal welfare laws.

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