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Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Djibouti over RVF fears

The government of Saudi Arabia has banned the importation of livestock from Djibouti.

In a statement, the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture have announced the decision saying the ban is a response to the announcement of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) concerning documented cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF).

A sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was positive and thus was not cleared.

The ban was also imposed on Sudan whose livestock is suspected to have RVF.

Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of RVF were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and Northern Darfur.

According to the ministry, Saudi Arabia imported 5 million heads of cattle from Sudan and 700,000 from Djibouti during the last Hijri year, prior to the ban.

The ministry has already banned livestock imports from Somalia.

“The ministry studies each country individually to put health regulations in line with the OIE and we follow up daily reports from the OIE to reduce the spread of the diseases among animals and people,” Abalkhail said.

The spokesman for the Saudi ministry, Abdullah Abalkhail, said that alternative sources include GCC, Jordan, Uruguay, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Georgia, Portugal, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Romania, as well as Chinese Mongolia, Argentine, Brazil, and the US.

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