DUBAI, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday banned the import of live birds from the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak following a bird flu outbreak there.
The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment said it temporarily banned the import of all species of domestic and wild live birds, ornamental birds, chicks, hatching eggs, and their non-heat-treated waste from East Malaysia.
It also banned import of poultry meat, and non-heat-treated by-products and table eggs from the Malaysian state of Sabah.
The ministry said it took the step after receiving a notification on August 6 from the World Organisation for Animal Health of the outbreak of a highly contagious strain of H5N1 bird flu on a farm in East Malaysia.
However, the heat-treated poultry products, including meat and eggs, have been cleared for import from all Malaysia.
Sheikh Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, assistant secretary for the food diversity sector at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, said his ministry hopes to ensure UAE's poultry health and safety, in addition to protecting public health and well-being.
Samples of imported food products have been transferred to laboratories for tests to ensure they are safe to eat, local media reported.
The UAE imports 90 percent of its food, according to the UAE Ministry of Economy.