Russia will officially ban imports of beef offal from Australia, effective 27 January, following the identification of growth promoter trenbolone in beef imported from that country, according to Sergey Dankvert, head of Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.
"We recently discussed the situation regarding the supply of beef and offal with the Australian ambassador in Russia, Paul Myler," added Dankvert. "Based on this discussion, we decided to limit the delivery of beef offal from this country, as of 27 January."
Russia had originally planned a complete ban on beef imports from Australia. "At a meeting with the ambassador, the possibility of introducing total restrictions on the supply of beef was also discussed, as the security guarantees provided by Australia’s veterinary service are insufficient. Russia has suggested that its Australian counterparts conduct more tests for trenbolone, with the same analysis to be undertaken by the Russian Federation," said Dankvert.
"If we find this stimulator [again] the whole [beef production] industry [of Australia] will suffer," he added.
According to Rosselkhoznadzor’s press office, shipments of beef offal are hard to control in terms of risk assessment, as one container can include products from a large number of companies and a large number of animals.
However, it did not rule out a complete ban on Australian beef. "Russia is giving the Australian beef industry time to correct deficiencies [on trenbolone]. If sufficient work in this direction is not made, imports of Australian beef will be completely banned," said Rosselkhoznadzor.
The Customs Union said trenbolone should not be used in the production of meat intended for its markets. Trenbolone is an anabolic steroid, used to increase muscle mass and the appetite of cattle and has many side effects, it added.