Belarus restricts Spanish and Korean imports over bird flu

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Avian influenza Russia Livestock

Belarus has temporarily restricted the import of poultry from South Korea and Spain because of recent outbreaks of avian influenza reported in these countries, the Ministry of Agriculture of Belarus has announced.

“The International Epizootic Bureau reported that outbreaks of infection of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been discovered in the province of Pyongyang, which is located in Korea,”​ said a report from the Ministry’s Department of Veterinary and Food Supervision.

It added that Belarus has restricted imports from Pyongyang live poultry and poultry products with immediate effect.

“Restrictions also apply to all poultry production from the Spanish province of Catalonia, where a case of low pathogenic avian influenza has been reported,”​ it said.

The same restrictions will take effect in the other countries in the Customs Union, including Russia and Kazakhstan.

Tightening control

Earlier this week, health services reported the first suspected case of H7N9 in Russia – a Russian citizen from the Voronezh Oblast region.

Veterinary experts say new restrictions on meat imports from south-east Asia are likely to be implemented in the near future.

“We get numerous calls for tighter controls, both from government and from community organisations. It’s safe to say that there will be further restrictions limiting imports of meat from south-east Asia. The veterinary services will respond quickly and toughly to any outbreak of avian influenza,”​ said Uri Sharipov, the officer of the Far East department of Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

Experts note that Russia recently forced Kyrgyzstan to implement serious import restrictions on import of meat from Asia and, in particular, China. Kyrgyzstan is one of the main partners to Russia in terms of meat trade and it is likely the country will enter the Customs Union by the end of this year. Experts claim this precedent will result in further bans from other CIS countries.

“In future, Russia’s trade partners in the CIS will close their borders to poultry from China, Korea and Vietnam if they have not already done so. This will not significantly affect the global meat trade but it will be important for Russian authorities, which could not allow the possibility that contaminated meat could be re-exported to its territory from bordering CIS partners,”​ said analysts at the Russian agency Agrorucom.

Related topics Meat

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