Summary (continued)
Among the local personnel working in close contact with the animals, 9% tested seropositive in the RVF competition ELISA. The study indicates that two factors may increase the likelihood of an RVF outbreak among sacrificial animals and pilgrims: i) the large-scale importation of small ruminants into Saudi Arabia from the Horn of Africa shortly before the pilgrimage season, and ii) the movement of animals within Saudi Arabia, from the RVF-endemic south-western area (Jizan region) to the Makkah region, particularly in the few weeks before the pilgrimage season. From these findings, it is recommended that i) all regulations concerning the import of animals into Saudi Arabia from Africa should be rigorously applied, particularly the RVF vaccination of all ruminants destined for export at least two weeks before exportation, and ii) the movement of animals from the RVF-endemic south-western area (Jizan region) of Saudi Arabia to the Makkah region should be strictly prohibited.