By Spy Uganda
Saudi Arabia has decided to lift a ban imposed in 2001 on meat imports from Uganda.
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority said the decision to end the ban came after reaching a pact on health and technical terms and approving health certificates between the kingdom and Uganda on importing meat of cows, sheep, goats and their products.
In 2001, Saudi Arabia imposed a ban on meat imports from African countries, including Uganda, due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), a highly contagious viral ailment that affects cattle.
Saudi Arabia earlier this month lifted a ban on cattle imports from Turkey imposed in March over an FMD outbreak.
The move comes after an improved health situation for the livestock in Turkey, which in March quarantined around 215 villages in its northeast due to FMD.
Last month, Jordan said Saudi Arabia had lifted a ban imposed earlier in the year on sheep supplies.
Ongoing fighting in Sudan has disrupted cattle supplies to the kingdom, sending prices up at the local market ahead of the Muslim sacrificial season.
Lifting the ban on Ugandan meat will create a huge market for Ugandans during the Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) celebrations when Muslims, who can afford it, sacrifice animals such as sheep, goats, camels and cows, honoring the Prophet Ebrahim’s willingness to slay his son Ismael at Allah’s command.
Eid Al Adha will be celebrated later this month.