On Sunday the municipality also ordered shops selling live poultry within the city limits of Abu Dhabi to close down by Monday.

 

"The Abu Dhabi municipality has taken a series of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of bird flu and these include monitoring or getting rid of domestic live poultry in the emirate, in addition to sanitising farms and monitoring the coastline," said the municipal authority.

 

It said that a team of 400 municipal workers had been visiting homes since Thursday to instruct residents who own live poultry to keep their birds indoors to lessen chances of infection with the disease from migratory bird, or otherwise to slaughter or hand them over to authorities.

 

National committee

 

The United Arab Emirates, which includes Abu Dhabi, has set up a national committee to deal with the threat of bird flu and has already banned the import of aquatic, wild and domestic birds from Asia.

 

Falconry remains a popular sport
for wealthy Emiratis

But it remains unclear how authorities will tackle the threat of the spread of disease from falconry, a favourite sport of wealthy Emiratis.

 

Health officials from the six-member Cooperation Council are expected to hold an emergency meeting in Riyadh on Monday to discuss a common action plan to combat the deadly virus, which has surfaced in Asian and European countries.