France lifts Spanish pig ban

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Spain, Eu

France has lifted its ban on imports of all live pigs and pork
products from Spain,

France has lifted its ban on imports of all live pigs and pork products from Spain, imposed in mid-July after new cases of swine fever were detected on the Iberian peninsula, the agriculture ministry has said. "The July 16 decree banning importation (in France) of Spanish pigs and porcine semen, ova and embryos, is repealed,"​ the ministry wrote in a decree published on August 29. The French embargo went slightly beyond the EU legislation banning live pigs from certain Spanish regions after swine fever - a highly infectious virus that is not harmful to humans - broke out in Spain in June, prompting the slaughter of thousands of animals in an effort to prevent it spreading. EU exports resctrictions remain in place until September 15 (unless extended), but only for very small areas around the outbreak, a Commission spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday. The EU veterinary experts were due meet again on September 11 to review the situation, she said. Although the French decision to lift the full ban on Spanish pigs was only published on Wednesday, it had been signed on August 17, just days before a new outbreak of the disease in the northeastern region of Catalonia. The farm ministry said France would probably not back down on its decision to lift the ban, despite the new outbreak. The ministry said the new Spanish swine fever cases were found in the same area affected in June, which is still subject to regional restrictions at the EU level. "The new cases come from the same region and there is still a (EU) ban on imports from these areas,"​ a farm ministry spokesman said. "But it is still possible that we will adapt the restrictions (on Spanish pigs) if necessary,"​ he added. The Catalonian government on Tuesday said that around 3,000 pigs had been slaughtered after the discovery on August 23 of new swine fever cases on a farm in the province of Lerida. All movement of pigs in three areas surrounding the farm were banned and a 10 km (6.2 miles) inspection zone has been established while awaiting further tests.

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