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Ban on livestock imports from Romania in place pending evaluation

By Hana Namrouqa - Oct 27,2014 - Last updated at Oct 27,2014

AMMAN — The Ministry of Agriculture will evaluate the health of livestock in Romania before issuing a decision to lift the ban on the import of cattle and sheep from the EU member state, a government official said on Monday.

A veterinary technical team will study several factors before allowing the import of livestock from Romania, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times.

The ministry restricted the import of cattle and sheep from Romania in August after the World Organisation for Animal Health [OIE] website announced new cases of bluetongue disease in the country.

“The team will issue the decision to lift or continue with the ban, which depends on several factors. The team will also study the possibility of allowing imports under specific conditions,” Haddadin said.

He noted that a Romanian delegation held a meeting with the ministry’s secretary general, Radi Tarawneh, on Monday, during which they said Romania will announce by the end of this month that it is free of bluetongue disease.

Bluetongue is a non-contagious, viral disease affecting domestic and wild ruminants (primarily sheep and including cattle, goats, buffalo, antelope, deer, elk and camels) that is transmitted by insects, particularly biting midges of the Culicoides species, according to the OIE website.

There is no public health risk associated with bluetongue disease, which is listed under the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the organisation said on its website.

The Kingdom banned livestock imports from Romania as a precautionary measure to protect the country’s animals from the infectious disease,” according to the ministry, which said that the restriction means that import licences issued to traders were no longer valid and that no more licences will be issued.

Jordan imports cattle and sheep mainly from Australia, followed by Romania and then Sudan, according to the ministry, which indicated that the Kingdom exports vegetables and fruits to Romania, from where it imports wheat and corn, besides sheep and cattle.

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