Ministries to monitor African meat imports

Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali and Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza plan to form joint committees mandated with inspecting imported meat when disagreements arise over laboratory analysis of samples taken from meat imports. The move is intended to ensure that imported meat is safe and fit for human consumption. 
Veterinary Services Authority (VSA) President Mohamed Mostafa el-Garhi said that monitoring procedures had been tightened along Egypt’s borders to prevent the smuggling of live animals into the country. He also noted that 11 calves smuggled into Fayoum in recent days had been seized by authorities. Subsequent investigations revealed that the calves were smuggled via the Egypt-Sudan border.
In statements to the press on Tuesday, el-Garhi said the VSA had intesified monitoring of the veterinary quarantines that receive animals imported from Sudan and Ethiopia. Animals are immediately slaughtered as soon as they undergo the necessary veterinary checks, he explained. El-Garhi added that imported animals that had undergone veterinary quarantine checks would be marked on their ears to distinguish them from smuggled animals.

He stressed that the Health Ministry’s Animal Health Research Institute would participate in conducting the analyses in order to ensure the meat’s safety. El-Garhi noted that such measures were designed to serve the people’s interest and ensure the meat’s suitability for consumption.

El-Garhi went on to announce that a study was being prepared on the proposed establishment of a development fund to improve the VSA’s performance in the areas of labor and veterinary medicine. The idea is designed to bolster the efficiency of VSA staff and promote precautionary procedures to combat pandemic diseases. He also noted that veterinary committees would not halt their missions abroad, since these helped to ensure that Egyptian standards were being heeded by exporting countries and because committees were also responsible for verifying that animals had been slaughtered according to Islamic regulations.

Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs Mona Omar said that a number of Egyptian firms had signed contracts with Ethiopian counterparts for the import of meat. In an exclusive statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, she said that a deal to import 40 tons of meat had been reached during a recent visit to Ethiopia by Egyptian officials. Omar highlighted another deal, signed on 1 March, by which 2116 heads of cattle had been imported to Egypt, with a similar number currently waiting in quarantine in Djibouti.

She emphasized that meat imports from Ethiopia would continue through the coming period, noting that Egypt looked forward to opening new markets throughout the African continent. She added that Egyptian investment in Ethiopia had reached US$1billion in recent months, and that several companies were turning their attention to Africa, where they had achieved promising results in Uganda, Ethiopia and other African states.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button