DUBAI, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned the import of all species of live birds from Russian regions affected by the bird flu, local media reported Tuesday.
The ban was issued by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in Abu Dhabi, the UAE state news agency WAM reported.
It was based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health about the outbreak of H5N2, a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, in a farm in the central region of Kursk in Russia, said the report.
The ban covers live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs, meats and meat products, and non-heat-treated wastes from Kursk, as well as the previously infected Kalmykia Republic and the regions of Astrakhan and Kostroma, the report said.
However, thermally-treated poultry products - meat and eggs - have been cleared for import from all parts of Russia.
Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, assistant undersecretary for the food diversity sector at the ministry, said these measures showed the ministry's keenness in achieving its strategic objectives of enhancing bio-security and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country.
The ministry is also conducting inspection and tests of imported foods to ensure the safety and quality of these products.
The UAE, with a population of 10.5 million, is a mostly deserted and mountainous country that imports 90 percent of its foods, according to the UAE Ministry of Economy.