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Stop Exporting Livestock to Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Saad Kamil

In the news around 7 thousand sheep shipments were sent back from Saudi Arabia after finding out that the quarantine procedures have been compromised, leaving some animals without vaccination against diseases including Rift Valley Fever.

Sheep are bought from western Sudan to Port Sudan and held quarantine before being exported to Saudi Arabia. While they are vaccinated against three diseases; HS (Hemorrhagic septicemia, PPR (Peste des petits ruminants), and Rift Valley Fever.

According to Sudanese officials, the quarantines had been broken, with some animals replaced.

Live animals are one of Sudan’s most important exports, bringing approximately US$500 million of which Saudi Arabia buys more than 70%.

The news of rejecting the Sudanese sheep shipments from Saudi Arabia have become one of the constant headlines in the newspapers and social media outlets as if it is an advertisement on the front page!

Sudan news indicates that there is something wrong with the Sudanese livestock including violating quarantine procedures.

We know that Sudan owns the best breeds of livestock in the world, and we always hear from other nations that the Sudanese meat is the best tasted, but it is apparent some circles are endeavoring to tarnish this reputation for unknown reasons to me.

I believe it would be wiser for the government, at this stage, to stop exporting sheep to Saudi Arabia in particular and to look for alternative markets that, at least, respect the sensitivity of the information that might harm the reputation of our livestock.

It is the responsibility of the ministries of Animal Wealth and Trade to impose laws that ban circulating any negative information about our livestock in the media and at the same time work out a plan to avoid any shortcoming concerning the export of sheep.

Why don’t we try to export slaughtered sheep instead of exporting it live, besides improving the marketing system and boosting the competitive status of our products?

Last, but not less, we should consider Sudan’s interests far away from axes policies.

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