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.

US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

Updated 30 min 53 sec ago

US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.