Sudan bans poultry imports

Sudan has taken a precautionary measure of halting all poultry imports, totalling 35% of its consumption, to prevent the spread of bird flu after the UN food agency said the disease could move to east Africa.

    UN food agency said the disease could move to east Africa

    "This is a precautionary measure and of course it will adversely affect the poultry industry in Sudan," said a senior official on Thursday.

    Ahmed Mustafa Hassan, under-secretary at the ministry of animal resources said the risk was serious in Sudan as migratory birds from the north pass through the areas along the Nile, where most of Sudan's population lives.

    He added that the price of poultry in Sudan would rise as a result of the ban.

    "Our poultry industry is not very well-developed so we rely heavily on imports," he said.

    Sudan needs about 15 million poultry a year, all imported.

    It is one of the world's poorest countries and recovering from the effects of Africa's longest civil war and conflicts still going on in the Darfur and eastern regions.

    The arrival of bird flu in Turkey and Romania suggests it is being carried by migratory birds, some of which pass through east Africa, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said.

    Sudan's health systems outside the capital are very basic and the war-torn country would struggle to cope with any outbreak of the disease, which has killed about 60 people in southeast Asia since 2003.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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