Farm Ireland

Saturday 21 April 2018

Thousands of cows airlifted to Qatar to provide fresh milk as political restrictions hit home

Cows are seen at an air conditioned farm out of Doha, Qatar. REUTERS/Tom Finn
Cows are seen at an air conditioned farm out of Doha, Qatar. REUTERS/Tom Finn
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Qatar has airlifted nearly 200 cows, in the first airlift to bring cows into the country, to build up its dairy herd and fresh milk supplies.

The 165 cows are the first of 4,000 which are being brought in by a Qatari businessman, to tackle the ongoing issue of a lack of dairy due to the Saudi-led restrictions on Qatar.

Qatar is home to 2.7m people and has come under political pressure from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates over alleged support of terrorism. Qatar denies the allegations, but its imports of fresh dairy have been severely curtailed, as much would have previously been imported through Saudi.

However, Turkey has sent 197 cargo planes, 16 trucks and one ship to Qatar to meet its daily needs since a dispute broke out last month, Reuters reports. Iran has also sent consignments of food and Morocco is understood to be looking at sending plane loads of food supplies.

Now a Qatari company Power International has bought the cows to Qatar via Turkey. Chairman Moutaz al-Khayyat told Bloomberg that once all the cows were flown in, they would meet about 30pc of the country's dairy needs.

The mass airlift will take approximately 60 flights and the cows are being taken to a newly built farm.

Meanwhile, hundreds of camels are reported to have died of starvation and thirst after their Qatari farmer owners were kicked out by Saudi as the row continues.

The Qatari owners of around 15,000 camels and 10,000 sheep were given hours to leave their farms.

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