LONDON — The first contingent of a planned 4,000-cow group landed in Qatar on Tuesday, in an attempt to limit the dairy shortage that has been caused by the Saudi-led blockade.
The 165 Holstein dairy cows are the first to be flown in, on a Qatar Airways cargo plane, to boost milk supplies, since most of Qatar’s milk imports had previously come from Saudi Arabia, the BBC reported.
The cows were bought by Moutaz Al Khayyat, chairman of Qatari construction firm Power International Holding, from the US and Australia. “This is the time to work for Qatar,” he told Bloomberg last week.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off air, sea and land links to Qatar in June, after accusing the country of supporting terrorism. The natural gas-rich country has said it can withstand the blockade due to its vast reserves and wealth funds, although Qatar’s stock exchange has plummeted since sanctions were imposed.
Qatar last week rejected a list of demands made by the Saudi-led block, meaning the blockade is ongoing. It could take up to 60 flights to deliver all 4,000 cows, which are being sent to a newly-built dairy.
Qatar is also receiving help in the form of food imports from Turkey and Iran.