The meeting, which took place at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), in Brasilia on 18 and 19 February, was attended by MAPA officials, as well as the head of the Russian government Dmitry Medvedev, Brazil’s vice-president Michel Temer and Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergey Dankvert.
Discussions centred around procedures for the certification of Brazilian pork and poultry products, as well as veterinary issues, such as the development and use of vaccines. The countries also discussed bilateral co-operation on areas such as scientific research, technology and education.
The meeting followed on from earlier consultations between Russian and Brazilian veterinary officials, who discussed the supply of Brazilian meat products free of the growth promoter ractopamine.
Meanwhile, MAPA representatives are planning to visit 11 importing countries between February and March this year to talk about restrictions placed on Brazilian beef following the revelation that a cow that died two years ago in the Brazilian state of Parana had tested positive for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) .
The missions will begin on 28 February, with a group including Brazil’s agriculture secretary Ernie Marques, and director of the Department of Animal Health Guilherme Marques visiting Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. A separate team, including the director of the Department of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Negotiations Lino Colsera, and substitute coordinator for Combating Diseases Carlos Pizarro, will visit Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait.
Celio Porto, secretary of international relations at MAPAP, and Denise Euclydes Mariano da Costa, coordinator-general to combat disease, will visit Japan, China and South Africa between 18 and 22 March.
“The technical visits... are important to restore trade negotiations with countries that have suspended imports from Brazil as soon as possible, and to obtain a better understanding of the case,” said Porto.
Porto added that Peru and Chile, which have also implemented import bans on Brazilian beef, have requested detailed information on the BSE case and are likely to withdraw the bans soon.
The head of the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) has described the bans against Brazilian meat as “unjustified” and called for them to be removed. The OIE recently upheld Brazil’s ‘negligible’ risk status for BSE, concluding that the identified case did not put the country’s trading partners at risk.
“It is important to clarify that Brazil is the largest producer of cattle in the world with the recognition of this status. And we’re talking about a herd of 214 million head,” said Brazil’s agriculture secretary Ernie Marques.