Customs Union imposes more import restrictions

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Cusoms Union extends import restrictions
Cusoms Union extends import restrictions

Related tags Avian influenza Influenza European union Beef Lamb Livestock Poultry

The Customs Union has restricted the import of poultry from the Indian province Karnataka, and banned imports of ruminants from Austria.

The restrictions were put in place following the discovery of bird flu in the Indian province and the Schmallenberg virus in Austria. They were initiated by the State Veterinary Service of Belarus on 29 October and are due to take affect in Russia and Kazakhstan.

“Cases of bird flu H5N1 have been reported in the Indian state of Karnataka. From 29 October, Belarus has therefore imposed a temporary ban on the import of poultry, hatching eggs, all kinds of poultry products, feed additives for poultry and equipment for poultry slaughter from this state,”​ reported the official press-service of the Republic of Belarus.

“Highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N1, more commonly known as ‘bird flu’, also causes disease in humans and many animal species in contact with the affected source. Outbreaks of bird flu may cause the death of millions of birds.”

The Department for Veterinary and Food Control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus stated that cattle infected with the Schmallenberg virus had been discovered in Austria and temporary restrictions had been placed on the transit and importation of cattle and small ruminants, as well as genetic material from these species from Austria into the territory of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The restrictions on Austrian imports are the latest in a series of import restrictions imposed on cattle and small livestock from EU countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and France, because of outbreaks of the Schmallenberg virus. The Russian veterinary services have made it clear that they will ban imports of livestock products from all countries where outbreaks of the Schmallenberg virus are reported.

A source in the Rosselkhoznadzor told​ that, soon, the Customs Union is likely to restrict the importation of cattle and small ruminants from Ireland, because of a recently reported Schmallenberg virus outbreak in this country.

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