Bird flu outbreak prompts Saudi Arabia to ban poultry imports from the Netherlands

Tracy Otterson puts avian influenza samples in the centrifuge to clean them up before moving to extraction, in this file photo taken on April 8, 2015 at the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn. (AP)
Updated 06 January 2018

Bird flu outbreak prompts Saudi Arabia to ban poultry imports from the Netherlands

RIYADH: The outbreak of an avian influenza prompted the Kingdom to temporarily ban imports of poultry products from the bird flu-affected Netherlands.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced that a temporary ban is in place on the import of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from Flevoland, the Netherlands due to the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza reported in the area.

The H5N1 virus occurs mainly in birds, is highly contagious among birds, and can be deadly in domestic poultry.

The decision to ban poultry imports from the country in northwestern Europe is based on a warning issued by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Commenting on the ban, Sanad Al-Harbi, director general of the Department of Animal Risk Assessment, said that the ban is based on the warning bulletin issued by the OIE on the emergence of the pathogenic avian influenza.

Notably, the OIE is an inter-governmental organization which coordinates and supports animal disease control, and cautions governments on outbreaks in different parts of the world.

Such bans are periodically reviewed and lifted when the situation returns to normal, the ministry sources said.

The Kingdom, the second-largest importer of chicken broiler meat in the world, previously imposed similar bans on poultry imports from countries experiencing bird flu outbreaks.

These bans were lifted when the situation improved to be normal when the countries were free of bird flu.


Health Ministry treats 649,690 Hajj pilgrims

The number of participants in serving pilgrims this year reached 30,000 employees of the Ministry of Health. (SPA)
Updated 24 August 2019

Health Ministry treats 649,690 Hajj pilgrims

  • For the first time this year, the ministry used robotic technology for medical consultations, which gave hospitals in Mina remote access to consultants in micro specialties

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has revealed specialized services provided by its hospitals and health centers in Makkah, Madinah and holy sites for pilgrims during Hajj.
The ministry said that the number of pilgrims who received treatment in hospitals and health centers reached 649,690.
The number of participants in serving pilgrims this year reached 30,000 employees of the Ministry of Health, while 25 hospitals were prepared in Makkah and Madinah, with a total capacity of 5,000 beds.
For the first time this year, the ministry used robotic technology for medical consultations, which gave hospitals in Mina remote access to consultants in micro specialties.