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The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Bans Imports of Fresh Vegetables and Fruits from Kerala, India and Live Animals from South Africa

Tuesday May 29, 2018

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has issued two decisions banning the imports of vegetable, fruit and animal products. These measures reiterate the Ministry's keenness in achieving its strategic objectives to ensure healthy and safe food for consumers and enhance biosecurity levels and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country.

The first decision came based on the information received and published on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website on the registration of a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kerala, India. Preliminary information indicates that the main host of the disease is the fruit bat, where the virus is transmitted through secretions from the bat to the fruit that it feeds on or touches. Mangoes, dates and bananas are the bat’s most preferred fruit. There have been cases of transmission of the disease among humans and between humans and animals as well.

Based on Federal Law No. 10 of 2015 on food safety and through its management of the fast food alert system and in order to take the necessary precautionary measures, the Ministry banned the imports of fresh vegetables and fruits from the state of Kerala in the Republic of India and issued a circular to the concerned local authorities including the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the municipalities of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to prevent the entry of all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala, India.

The Ministry calls upon the public to take the following precautionary measures when they purchase and eat fresh fruit:

  1. Make sure that the fruits are ripe, fresh and non-withered, wet, color-changed or over ripe.
  2. Before eating fruit, make sure that there are no visible defects on them, such as pests infections, cuts, dirt or deformities.
  3. Make sure that the fruits are free from any strange smell or taste.
  4. The package should not contain any damaged fruit.
  5. Wash fresh vegetables and fruits well before eating them.
  6. Do not consume juices unless you confirm the source.

The other ban decision was based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) of the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever disease, in South Africa. The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) announced that it has taken the following precautionary measures:

  1. Banned the import of all kinds of live animals (sheep, goats, cattle, buffalos, camels, gazelles) and their non-heat-treated by-products from South Africa.
  2. Banned the import of live animals (sheep, goats, cattle, buffalos, camels, gazelles) and their non-heat-treated by-products from the infected Letsemeng province.
  3. However, thermally treated products from all parts of South Africa have been cleared for import. 

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment spares no effort to provide healthy and safe food to consumers in accordance with best international practices in order to enhance consumer confidence in the safety of food traded in the country. The ministry works relentlessly to achieve its strategic objectives in promoting food safety and sustainability of local production in line with the UAE Vision 2021.  The UAE places the highest priority on food safety and relies on stringent control systems with regard to imported food in order to protect consumer health. 

For more information:

media@moccae.gov.ae

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