European Commission suspends poultry imports from Ukraine following avian influenza outbreak

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

European Commission suspends poultry imports from Ukraine following avian influenza outbreak

Related tags Ukraine Mhp Poultry Avian influenza Livestock

The European Commission has suspended imports of poultry meat from the Ukraine following the confirmation of an outbreak of avian influenza earlier this month.

According to a statement from the State Service Of Ukraine On Food Safety And Consumer Protection, an operational report from the European Commission confirmed the suspension. Imports of eggs and egg products are not suspended.

In line with its international obligations, Ukraine, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), promptly advised its international trading partners of the avian influenza case. Ukrainian bird flu control and eradication measures have been recognized as equivalent to those implemented by EU Member States.

However, the State Service said a blanket ban on Ukrainian poultry meat was “stunningly unexpected”​. “Taking into account the reports of numerous equivalence missions, the results of negotiations and preliminary agreements, the said EU decision is stunningly unexpected for the Ukrainian side.”

It went on to say that following the diagnosis of the bird in the Vinnytsia region and the confirmation of avian influenza​, the State Emergency Anti-epizootic Commission at the Nemyriv district state administration approved the plan for elimination of the disease, determined the boundaries of the epizootic cell, protection and surveillance zones.

“According to the operative data as of 23 January, all bird present in the epizootic cell was killed by humane bloodless method and burned. Disinfection activities have started. An epizootic investigation is underway to establish the source of the infection. According to preliminary data, the probable cause of influenza in the farms were wild and sinantropic birds. The bird flu situation is under the control of the State Consumer Service.”

It added: “Work with international trading partners is ongoing. In particular, negotiations were started with the EU to agree on positions on the mutual recognition of zoning principles in line with the OIE international standard.”

Ukrainian processor MHP issued the following statement on the issue: “As of 23 January 2020, MHP EU certified poultry production facilities have ceased exports to the EU countries. MHP continues to operate as usual, commencing all necessary steps as it is dictated in its export diversification strategy, which has been enacted by the Management. MHP continues to adhere to the best available quality and biosecurity standards and sells its products both locally and to countries, where the export ban is not applicable.”

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