Ukraine eases EU cattle ban

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Schmallenberg continues to spread in Europe
Schmallenberg continues to spread in Europe

Related tags: European union, Ukraine, Beef, Livestock

Ukraine has partly lifted restrictions on imports of cattle and small ruminants from Europe, while Russia and Belarus have tightened restrictions over Schmallenberg virus fears.

Ukraine imposed a total ban on the importation of cattle and small ruminants from the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Spain and Belgium after the discovery of Schmallenberg virus among cattle in these countries. A similar ban was imposed by countries in the Customs Union.

However, Ukraine has now made the decision to lift restrictions on breeding cattle that show low risk of infection.

“The restrictions no longer apply to non-pregnant breeding animals, which receive a negative result following enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymer-chain-reaction (PCR) tests,”​ reported the press-service of Ukraine’s veterinary service, Gosvetphitosluzba.

In addition, Ukraine has lifted restrictions on genetic material obtained prior to 1 January 2012, with negative results in ELISA and PCR tests.

Customs Union bans

However, almost simultaneously, the members of Customs Union, particularly Russia and Belarus, have restricted imports of cattle from Denmark, Latvia and Croatia, following a worsening of the epizootic situation on Schmallenberg in those markets.

A spokesperson for Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said: “With the globalisation of trade and the sharp increase in the risk of introduction of the pathogen of the Schmallenberg virus, Rosselkhoznadzor has taken additional measures to protect the territory of Russia from the introduction of the agent of this dangerous disease.”

A source at the agency told Globalmeatnews.com​ that the situation in Europe was being closely monitored. “At present, the Customs Union is restricting imports of cattle and small ruminants from a large part of the EU, which Rosselhoznadzor has identified as disadvantaged on the Schmallenberg virus.”

Related topics: Meat

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