As part of the efforts of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to ensure the highest standards of food safety and enhance food security and sustainability, the Ministry’s team visited the Veterinary Quarantine Center in Hamriyah Port and Al Qusais Abattoir in the emirate of Dubai.

The team, led by His Excellency Sultan Alwan, Acting Undersecretary of MOCCAE, aimed to determine the speed, quality, and efficiency of quarantine and examination services, and the readiness of the facilities to receive the large number of live animal consignments arriving in the UAE in the run-up to Eid Al Adha.

The Ministry has taken multiple measures to facilitate swift entry of disease-free sacrificial animals to the country ahead of the festive period. These include reviewing and updating livestock testing requirements in export countries, streamlining testing and control processes at points of entry, increasing the frequency of port inspections, and providing laboratories with state-of-the-art testing equipment. MOCCAE has also deployed higher numbers of doctors and technicians at veterinary quarantine facilities and laboratories at border crossings, and extended their working hours. To support border-crossing laboratories during the busy festive season, the Ministry has created a roster at Sharjah Central Laboratory.

His Excellency Sultan Alwan said: “As part of its food safety and security strategy, MOCCAE works relentlessly to provide high-quality and quick veterinary services at border crossings with the aim of accommodating the surge in demand ahead of Eid Al Adha.”

He added: “We also continue to expand our import markets to diversify food sources and identify alternative markets as a contingency measure. Over the last three years, the number of livestock import markets has grown significantly, currently standing at 24.”

Livestock imports in H1 2021 have seen a considerable increase of 45 percent, from 428,880 head in H1 2020 to 621,273 head in H1 2021.

The measures taken by the Ministry have facilitated and expedited procedures, from validating shipping documents and running clinical and laboratory tests to ensure the imported animals are disease-free to issuing release certificates prior to their transportation to local markets.

His Excellency Sultan Alwan also stressed the need for consumers to have their sacrificial animals slaughtered in approved abattoirs that are governed by health regulations in line with stringent food safety standards. He noted that local authorities collaborate with accredited abattoirs to develop their processes to deliver fast and reliable services under veterinary supervision.

Source: APCO Worldwide

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