Saudi Arabia returned 58,000 sheep to Sudan after finding out that quarantine procedures in Sudan had been compromised, leaving some animals without vaccination against diseases including Rift Valley fever.
Sheep are brought over from western Sudan to the Port of Sudan in the east of the country and held in quarantine before being exported to Saudi Arabia. While there they are vaccinated against three diseases; HS (Hemorrhagic septicemia), PPR (Peste des petits ruminants) and Rift Valley fever.
Sudan’s minister of animal resources, Dr Adil Farah said the quarantines had been broken, with some animals replaced.
“We have problems in our quarantines in some of the states, especially in eastern Sudan in Kassala and Gadarif states,” he said. “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.”
While the sheep were still on board, waiting to be returned to Sudan, thousands of the animals died after drinking saltwater from the Red Sea.
“The losers in this process at the end are the small producers in the western parts of Sudan where most of the cattle come from,” said Farah.