Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Bahrain: Quarantine 'puts animals at risk...'

Gulf-daily-news.com

By Ahmed Al Omari , Posted on » Wednesday, August 01, 2012

BAHRAIN'S quarantine facilities could be putting the lives of animals at risk, it has been claimed.

The complex, at the Endurance Village in Sakhir, is poorly equipped and has no air conditioning, which could prove fatal for the animals in summer, warned race horse owner Jalil Al Mallah.

He is due to import six European bred horses, worth a combined total of more than BD45,000, from the UK today and claims he will have to risk their lives just to clear customs.

Mr Al Mallah has already secured the paperwork to take them to the Endurance Village, but plans to stand at the gates of the Rashid Equestrian and Horse Racing Club in Sakhir, where he already owns stables, until they agree to take in his horses.

"I will not take my horses to that crummy quarantine just to have them die," the Bahraini told the GDN.

"When my horses come in I will sign them out and I will drive straight to the race club and offload them there until the club lets me in or arrests me.

"One of these horses, called Cheylesmore, sported the Bahraini flag when the team won a race in England against British horses and now I am just trying to bring them home and this is how they are treated.

"These horses win for Bahrain and they should be treated like winners when they come back home."

Officials from the Municipality and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry could not be reached for comment, but sources admitted the facilities could be better.

"The owner is justified in not wanting to send his animals to the quarantine facility in Endurance Village," they said.

"There is no AC in the facility which is dangerous for all animals, but especially horses that come from the UK.

"Horses coming from a cold country will not be able to survive in this heat at that facility."

The source advised the horse owner to seek permission to keep his horses at the Rashid Equestrian and Horse Racing Club.

But Mr Al Mallah already says he has been denied use of the facility, which has its own quarantine.

"This is not the first case of animals from overseas coming into the club stables, so I don't understand why I can't this time," he said.

"I got everything approved, I got all the certificates and the tests done. Not only that, the horses are already in the process of being shipped. "If I cancel the shipping, then I will have to pay a 70 per cent penalty and so I can't just wait."

ahmed@gdn.com.bh