x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Death of 130 sheep in Sharjah may have been caused by plague

The suspicions of the animals' owner have prompted an investigation by the Ministry of Environment and Water.

The death of 130 sheep in Sharjah could have been caused by a strain of the plague, the animals' owner has claimed.

Her suspicions, which were revealed on Tuesday, have prompted an investigation by the Ministry of Environment and Water.

The owner bought the livestock from a market in Ras Al Khaimah.

"A report covering all the aspects of the incident is being put together at this time," Mariam Al Shanasi, the ministry's deputy under secretary, told The National's Arabic-language sister paper Al Ittihad.

"We have contacted the complainant … so as to gather all the relevant information from the time of purchase to transportation from one emirate to another, leading to the symptoms that appeared on the animals before they perished."

The ministry could not corroborate the owner's claim that the deaths were plague-related, but Ms Al Shanasi said it was taking the matter seriously.

"In the next few days, the cause of death will be determined in a scientific and studied manner by doctors and vets," she said.

Local authorities are working together to verify the complainant's claims, Ms Al Shanasi said.

She also suggested that the ministry may consider revising the safety measures in livestock markets.

newsdesk@thenational.ae