Russia Suspends Livestock Imports From EU Countries

Russia imposed on Tuesday a temporary ban on imports of live swine and livestock from all EU countries due to the spread of two deadly animal viruses in Europe.

Russia’s veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said that despite the wide spread of the Schmallenberg virus and bluetongue disease in Europe, the service has not yet received detailed information from the European Union concerning measures taken to contain the viruses and the results of related scientific research.

The Russian veterinary service expressed concern over the lack of export control on the part of EU countries and occasional violations of veterinary norms related to exports of live swine to Russia.

The measure concerns only animals intended for meat production. Imports of livestock for breeding purposes will continue, Rosselkhoznadzor said.

Russian experts believe that the imposed restrictions would not cause shortage of meet or rising prices on the Russian pork market as the country is planning to increase domestic production by at least 150,000 tons in 2012, while imports of live swine from EU countries produce on average about 40,000 tons of pork.

Schmallenberg virus causes transient fever, diarrhea and reduced milk yield in adult animals. The virus was first detected in Germany in August 2011 and has since spread through Europe.

Bluetongue disease is an insect-borne viral disease causes serious disease in livestock.


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