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Jordan bans import of frozen poultry from Saudi Arabia after bird flu outbreak

Kingdom 90 per cent self-sufficient with poultry meat — Agriculture Ministry

By Hana Namrouqa - Dec 28,2017 - Last updated at Dec 28,2017

Jordan is 90 per cent self-sufficient with poultry meat, according to the Agriculture Ministry (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Jordan has banned the import of frozen poultry from Saudi Arabia following the outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

The precautionary measure seeks to protect the country’s poultry stock and also protect public health, the Ministry of Agriculture, which placed the ban, said.

“All imports of poultry, frozen poultry and poultry meat which didn’t undergo thermal processing are banned from entering the country,” Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

Haddadin underscored that while Jordan is 90 per cent self-sufficient with poultry meat; some traders import frozen poultry from Saudi Arabia.

“The ministry upholds the ban on poultry imports until the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) declares the infected countries as free from the virus,” he underlined.

The United Arab Emirates also suspended earlier this week its imports of live and frozen as well as table eggs and chicks from Saudi Arabia, after the disease was reported in a poultry market in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has confirmed early this week an outbreak of highly contagious bird flu in Riyadh that led to the culling of nearly 16,000 ducks, Reuters reported. 

The highly pathogenic H5N8 strain infected and killed 14 birds at a non-specified location in the Saudi capital, Reuters said citing a report from the OIE, noting that the other birds in a flock of around 60,000 exposed to the virus were culled, the report said. 

Bird flu or avian influenza (AI) is an infectious viral disease of birds (especially wild water fowl such as ducks and geese), often causing no apparent signs of illness, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

AI viruses can sometimes spread to domestic poultry and cause large-scale outbreaks of serious diseases. Some of these AI viruses have also been reported to cross the species barrier and cause disease or subclinical infections in humans and other mammals, according to the WHO website.


Most AI viruses do not infect humans; however, some, such as A (H5N1) and A (H7N9), have caused serious infections in people.

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