October 29, 2003



Qatar Imposed Ban On All Meat & Poultry Imports From Mauritania

A Middle East's country, Qatar, has imposed a ban on the import of all meat and poultry products from Mauritania, a senior government official has told Gulf Times.


The ban follows a suspected outbreak of haemorrhagic fever among animals in the African country, said Dr Abdullah O al-Hamaq, assistant director of Doha Municipality and head of the food control section at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture.


The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, where it was first recognised. The virus is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called the Filoviridae.


Ebola haemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and non-human primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976.


The import ban, however, is not likely to have any impact on the Qatar market since the country does not buy any fresh or processed meat from Mauritania.


Qatar's meat imports largely comes from Australia and New Zealand, the official said. As for poultry imports, mostly are from Brazil and Saudi Arabia.


An import ban on European beef and other meat products is still in place, Dr Abdullah al-Hamaq said. The curb was introduced a few years ago following an outbreak of mad cow disease in Britain and certain other European countries.

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