Saudi Arabia suspends imports of Somali livestock
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia declared it has temporarily suspended the imports of Somali livestock, according to Dahir Mohamud Gelleh, Somali ambassador to the oil-rich gulf state.
The announcement was made by Saudi’s minister for agriculture, water and environment who said the Saudi Arabia banned Somalia’s livestock following the outbreak of unknown illness.
The Livestock is an important mainstay in Somalia’s economy, contributing to about 40% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In 2015, the Horn of Africa nation exported record 5.3 million animals, the highest such figure in two decades, according to the Food and Agriculture (FAO) organization.
Somalia has exported thousands of livestock to Saudi Arabia this year as millions of Muslims from around the world were performing the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
Saudi Arabia banned Somalia’s livestock in 2000 following the outbreak of the Rift Valley Fever in the Horn of Africa region, but lifted the ban has been lifted in early 2015.