MUSCAT: Oman has lifted the ban on import of poultry and poultry products from several countries. Oman had introduced restrictions in the aftermath of an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus in many European countries and a few Indian states in November-December 2016.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries issued a decision (No 159/2017) on July 2, lifting the ban on the import of live birds, their products and derivatives from the Netherlands, Denmark, Ukraine, Greece, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain and Kuwait.
The first poultry import ban in December was imposed on European countries like Denmark, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden, and the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka. This was followed by another set of poultry import bans in January on countries like Ukraine, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Finland and Japan.
The ban was extended to more countries in February to Greece, Italy, Uganda, Kuwait and the Indian state of Gujarat.
In April, another set of countries were put on the ban list, which included Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Spain. The April decision also banned poultry imports from Wisconsin and Tennessee in the US.
The ministry is yet to take a decision on the ban on other countries who have been put under import restrictions.
Avian Influenza (AI) or Bird Flu is a highly contagious viral infection which can affect all species of birds and can manifest itself in different ways depending mainly on the ability of the virus to cause disease (pathogenicity) and on the species affected.