Tetracycline is used to control or treat salmonellosis, some enteric bacteria, and susceptible respiratory diseases in pigs.
Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) identified both companies by their identification numbers and the Russian authorities asked both the respective US and Canadian veterinary services to look into the matter.
In the meantime, pork production supplied from the US and Canada will be subject to additional examinations at the Russian border to prevent the import of products which the Russians say do not conform to sanitary requirements.
The chief state veterinary inspector Artem Limas said: “We have already sent a letter to the State Veterinary Service of Canada demanding that they eradicate the defects. In addition, Rosselkhoznadzor does not exclude the possibility that, in future, it will introduce an additional limit on the supply of products from this country.
“At the moment, all meat production from there is undergoing tighter laboratory control.”
The official also advised the residents of the Ulyanovsk region of Russia, which currently imports a significant amount of pork from the US to temporarily stop buying imported meat.
Gennady Onishchenko, director of the Russian Federal Service on Surveillance for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being (Rospotrebnadzor), told Russian reporters that these cases are not isolated and that they were caused by too lenient an approach to the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry in a number of countries.
Onishchenko said: “The current Russian standards on the use of antibiotics are more stringent than those required by the World Trade Organization. This prevents any excess of the permissible daily dose of tetracycline antibiotics.
“Generally, the use of antibiotics for non-medical purposes should be forbidden. However, the problem is that, worldwide, manufacturers use antibiotics so as not to lose their livestock, and thereby abandon sanitary requirements.”
Experts from the Ukrainian analytical center, UNN, have reported that those shipments of pork treated with antibiotics which have not been allowed into Russia could be redirected to the Ukraine. However, representatives from Ukraine’s veterinary services have not yet confirmed this.