Governor McAuliffe: No more Oman ban on Virginia poultry
The announcement followed several months of discussions between the Governor's office and the Embassy of Oman, including Oman’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, and culminated in meetings Sunday between Governor McAuliffe and Oman's Ministers of Commerce & Industry and Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources.
Following meetings with senior Oman government officials, Governor McAuliffe and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore led discussions with several Oman poultry importers regarding the ban being lifted and purchases of significant amounts of poultry products.
Information gathered from these meetings will be shared with Virginia poultry companies producing and exporting halal-certified products and whole birds.
In May 2015, Oman banned imports of all U.S. poultry in response to an outbreak of avian influenza in several western and midwestern states.
At the same time, Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Haymore, and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services staff began discussions regarding Oman's poultry ban with Ambassador Al-Mughairy during a summit of more than 60 foreign ambassadors in Richmond, hosted by the U.S. Department of State and Governor McAuliffe.
After educating embassy staff on the status of avian influenza in Virginia and the integrity of the Commonwealth’s poultry producers, the embassy brought the issue to the attention of its government and began discussing the idea of limiting the ban to only certain states.
Following additional dialogue among the Ambassador, Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Haymore, Oman made the decision to change its policy and remove the ban on poultry imports from Virginia. ■