The UAE has not banned import of sheep and other livestock from India and Pakistan and such rumors are spread by dealers seeking higher profits, according to the Ministry of Environment and Water.
The Ministry was reacting to claims by sheep traders that the recent rise in livestock prices was caused by a ban imposed by the UAE on the import of sheep and other live animals from India and Pakistan.
“The Ministry has not issued such a ban and those who want to import live animals from these countries can obtain an import permission in line with the existing procedures and terms,” the semi official daily Alittihad quoted the Ministry’s Director General Obaid Al Matroushi as saying. “There is no justification for any increase in livestock prices at present.”
Matroushi disclosed that the Ministry had busted four attempts to smuggle at least 1,500 heads of cattle into the UAE over the past 45 days.
“There are several reasons for the traders’ reluctance to import livestock from India and Pakistan for the time being,” he said.
“A key reason is the high seas at this time as this increases risks of shipping live animals because most of these animals are transported from those two countries by small vessels…another reason is that some regions in India ban the export of all types of animals, mainly sheep and goat, during July and August, which are considered the breeding season…in Pakistan, the flood disaster is obstructing the export of live animals and other products,” he said.
Matroushi said many livestock dealers have stopped importing from those two countries for personal reasons rather than an alleged ban by the Ministry.
“They are taking into account profits and losses…they might be attempting to increase prices during Ramadan for higher profits,” he said.
The official warned against any fresh attempt to smuggle livestock on the grounds any animal entering the UAE must be examined.
He said that under the UAE law, all live animals imported into the UAE must enter through legal ports and outlets, adding that those who violate such laws would be jailed for three months and fined Dh10,000.
“Their shipment of any type of livestock will also be confiscated, he added.