Ministry of Environment and Water confiscates 200 smuggled sheep

ABU DHABI, 6th December, 2015 (WAM) — The Ministry of Environment and Water, MoEW, has confiscated 200 sheep which were smuggled across the Al Madam border from Oman, in cooperation and coordination with concerned authorities. This development came as part of the Ministry’s intensified efforts to protect the health and safety of all UAE residents by preventing the spread of infectious animal diseases.
Saif Mohammed Al-Shara, Assistant Under-Secretary for the External Audit sector at the Ministry of Environment and Water, said, “Authorities stopped the trucks carrying the smuggled sheep on the border for inspection. In one truck, the smuggled animals were hidden behind boxes of food in an attempt to hide them. This is a clear violation of federal legislation governing the importation of animals. Article 02 of Federal Law No. 06 of 1979 on veterinary quarantine bans the entry of imported animals and meat without proper quarantine procedures put in place to prevent an epidemic of infectious animal diseases.”
“The smugglers also violated Article 04 of the same law, which states that imported animals must go through the proper veterinary procedures, and Article 05, which mandates that consignments must be accompanied by an official veterinary health certificate issued by the exporting country to verify that the animals have been thoroughly checked and are free of any infectious disease before shipment,” he added.
Al-Shara added that the provisions of Federal Law No. 16 of 2007 on animal welfare were also breached, as the seized animals were in poor health having been crammed into the trucks during transport. He emphasised the Ministry’s key role in ensuring the strict enforcement of federal laws and legislations for livestock protection and prevention of animal smuggling. The implementation of these laws aims to stop the spread of diseases, guarantee public health, and protect domestic livestock.
The Assistant Under-Secretary reiterated that importers must at all times meet all requirements and observe procedures implemented in the Ministry-run quarantine centres located across the UAE. These accredited centres managed by teams of specialists are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Upon fulfillment of all requirements, the centres issue official permits to the importers. Additionally, they must present a certificate issued by the country of origin to ensure public safety and the health of local livestock.
Al-Shara also confirmed that the Ministry closely coordinates with concerned authorities to enforce federal legislations and catch animal smugglers, adding that convicted violators will face imprisonment and pay fines.