3,000 sheep die after Saudi Arabia rejects Sudan-exported livestock

3,000 sheep die after Saudi Arabia rejects Sudan-exported livestock
The animals died of thirst, hunger and drowning, according to Sudanese officials.
2 min read
13 August, 2020
Around 50,000 sheep were rejected by Saudi Arabia and returned to Sudan [Getty]

Some 3,000 sheep died after being sent back to Sudan by Saudi Arabia over quarantine concerns, a Sudanese government official has said.

The animals died of hunger and thirst after drinking saltwater from the Red Sea, according to a report by The Guardian. A number of sheep also drowned.

Riyadh rejected around 50,000 sheep upon discovering that the animals were improperly quarantined, leaving some of the livestock unvaccinated.

Prior to shipment, sheep brought east from western Sudan to the Port of Sudan are required to be vaccinated against Hemorrhagic septicemia (HS), Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and Rift Valley fever.

“We have problems in our quarantines in some of the states, especially in eastern Sudan in Kassala and Gadarif states,” Sudan's minister of animal resources, Dr Adil Farah, was quoted by The Guardian as saying. “The animal quarantines are open so some of the exporters are cheats and might have got inside the quarantines after we vaccinated the animals and replaced some of them – that’s the problem.”

Dr Farah added that those who will lose out most from the incident are small producers in western Sudan, who invest much of their money in rearing the livestock.

A similar incident occurred late last year following an outbreak of Rift Valley fever - a disease which can also be transmitted to humans. Saudi Arabia consequently blocked animal exports from Sudan, causing thousands of sheep to die from hunger and thirst.

Sudan is reportedly still planning to send the recently returned sheep back to Saudi Arabia.

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