Ukraine seeks to reform livestock industry with new bill

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Ukraine is keen to harmonise its veterinary legislation with the European Union
Ukraine is keen to harmonise its veterinary legislation with the European Union

Related tags: Customs union, European union, Livestock, Russia, Beef, Pork

Ukraine’s parliament has approved a bill to introduce a system of mandatory identification and registration for all livestock animals that are kept on farms, regardless of ownership.

The move is an attempt by Ukraine to harmonise its veterinary legislation with the European Union (EU), in order to establish large-scale export supplies to EU markets.

According to a joint statement from Ukrainian members of parliament, "the purpose of the bill is to harmonise Ukrainian legislation on animal identification and registration with EU legislation to ensure access for Ukrainian products of animal origin to the European market".

"It will also create a health status system for the animals at the farms, and enable veterinary services to easily track the origin of all meat and milk products."

The bill also provides funding, allocated from the state budget, to create an identification system for livestock. The bill does not set out the total amount, but preliminary estimates put the cost of the project implementation at around €6m-€9m.

"Ukrainian pork, beef and, of course, poultry production in general meet all European quality standards, and we can initiate exports of these products to the EU, but this task requires proper legislative harmonisation,"​ said Dmitro Simonenko, representative of the Association of Agricultural Producers of Ukraine.

Crimean reforms

Russia is also conducting reforms across the meat industry in the Crimean peninsula.

Russian authorities have already banned any slaughter of livestock animals outside specially certified slaughterhouses in the Customs Union. Now, according to Nadezda Boitchenko, head of the department of veterinary supervision for the Simferopol city government, Russia is looking to harmonise the legislation of Crimea, which is still partly based on the Ukrainian law, with the veterinary legislation of the Customs Union.

She noted that, on 1 May 2014, within the Customs Union, technical regulations "on the safety of meat and meat products"​ came into force.

"This legal act regulates the procedure for the use of meat products obtained by citizens at home or in private farms. Such products are intended solely for personal use and are not allowed to be sold or brought to the market in any other way across the Customs Union,"​ she expained.

Boitchenko added that this rule in Crimea will come into force on 1 January 2015. However, so far there are no certified slaughterhouses in the peninsula, and Crimea suffers a lack of processing capacity.

"We are now working on creating of a network of slaughterhouses that will conduct registration and certification of agricultural animals. From 1 January 2015 any sale of meat from a non-certified slaughterhouse will become illegal and will be subject to penalties,"​ she added.

Related topics: Meat

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