The United Arab Emirates has blocked an Indian shipment of 950 goats and sheep after a number of animals were found to be infected with foot and mouth disease.

The owners of the shipment attempted to enter the country at night through Ras Al Khaimah, but were prevented by the quarantine and customs authorities, the UAE’s official news agency WAM reported. The authorities acted on information provided by veterinary quarantine officers in Kuwait.

The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water immediately issued orders to push the shipment out of regional waters.

Sultan Abdullah Alwan, executive director of Agricultural and Animal Affairs at the Ministry, said the authorities received information from the liaison veterinary quarantine officer in Kuwait that they had refused to unload a shipment of live animals, apparently showing symptoms of epidemic diseases, for fear of contaminating local livestock.

“All UAE borders have been notified not to allow the entry of the shipment into the country to safeguard the health of the livestock in the country.”

All Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries were also informed about the shipment, WAM said. The GCC include: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

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