Saudi Arabia has announced a ban on importing livestock from Sudan and Djibouti.
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said the ban is a response to the announcement of World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) concerning documented cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Sudan.
In addition, a sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was positive and thus was not cleared.
According to the ministry, Saudi Arabia imported 5 million heads of cattle from Sudan and 700,000 from Djibouti during the last Hijri year, prior to the ban.
The spokesman for the ministry, Abdullah Abalkhail, said that alternative sources include GCC, Jordan, Uruguay, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Georgia, Portugal, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Romania, as well as Chinese Mongolia, Argentine, Brazil and the US.
These countries can hardly compete with African states, said Al-Jadani, due to prices, different weather and customer demand.
The domestic livestock, he added, covers the demand of a very low percentage of the market and the price of local sheep are very high.
All shipments are examined at their point of arrival and only healthy animals are allowed into the local market.