Russia ponders ban on EU meat

By Eugene Vorotnikov, reporting from St Peterburg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: National meat association, European union, Eu, Beef, Lamb, Livestock

Russia ponders ban on EU meat
Russian authorities have defended their decision to temporarily restrict imports of cattle from Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France from February 1 over the Schmallenberg virus, and warn a meat ban may follow.

Alexei Alexeyenko, spokesman for the Russian federal service for veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) told GlobalMeatNews​: “The risk of human infection has not yet been identified. The EU countries are currently conducting researches and we know that other viruses from the same group are dangerous to humans.”

And while Russia is not currently planning to impose ban on meat imports from the EU, he warned that the government was ready to act: "So far, there was not any announcements from the EU authorities about the danger of consumption of meat products, as the virus was not found in meat. However once there will be a serious reason for the ban, we will also ban meat imports."

Alexeyenko added Russia was unhappy with what he regarded as weak movement controls of livestock within the EU following the outbreak, and that Rosselkhoznadzor will continue to monitor this situation.

Sergey Yushin, head of the Russian National Meat Association, warned the Schmallenberg virus is poorly understood: “Symptoms (…) are hardly-recognisable, while its consequences are only detected during lambing or calving. The impact of this disease on the safety of meat is also not fully understood”​.

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