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Russia to lift EU import ban

By Vladislav Vorotnikov , 29-Jun-2012

Russia’s veterinary services have announced that the ban on imports of livestock from the EU will soon be partly lifted.

The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) said it will permit imports of all cattle and their genetic material from Italy, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg once the International Office of Epizootics (IOE) has confirmed the absence of new cases of the Schamllenberg virus (SBV) in the EU for two months.

The decision follows a meeting between the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Sergei Dankvert, and the deputy director of the European Commission’s directorate general for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO), Ladislav Miko, in Brussels on June, 27.

Imports from France and the Netherlands will also be permitted but will require veterinary certificates stating that they come from areas free of the Schmallenberg virus. Additionally, all export animals from the EU will have to be kept in quarantine in a European country free of the disease prior to their export to Russia, and undergo health checks on days 7 and 21 of quarantine.

The import of heifers will not be permitted and the ban on all UK and German exports will remain in place.

“Rosselkhoznadzor considers it necessary to keep the ban for the UK in force until the epizootic situation in this country on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle improves,” said an offical. “For Germany, Rosselkhoznadzor has taken into account the lack of proper control by the country’s veterinary service for controlling the spread of the Schmallenberg virus.”

Rosselkhoznadzor has also categorically refused to remove the restrictions on import of live pigs.

“The measures proposed by the European Commission to easing the situation are inadequate, and therefore the recovery of the trade of live pigs is not currently possible,” said the official.

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