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Russia bans imports of products from Lithuania’s largest meat producer

July 08, 2014, 17:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian veterinary watchdog said it sent a relevant paper to the Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service urging it to suspend all certification of the products from the meat producing company
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Pavlishak

MOSCOW, July 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned on Tuesday imports of products from Lithuania’s largest meat producer Biovela citing violations of veterinary and sanitary requirements set by the member states of the Customs Union.

The watchdog said it sent a relevant paper to the Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service urging it to suspend all certification of the products from the meat producing company.

The ban on the meat import is in effect for all member states of the Customs Union, which also includes Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Biovela is a part of the Lithuanian Biovela Group holding, which is the largest meat processor in the Baltic state. The holding’s annual trade turnover stands at €118 million ($160 million) with the overall estimated output of 47,000 metric tons per year. Half of the products is oriented for export purposes.

In January 2014, Russia suspended imports of live pigs and pork from the European Union over an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in one of the EU states. As of now, cases of African swine fever have been reported from Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

ASF is a highly contagious notifiable disease in pigs caused by a virus. There is no vaccine against it, and it can be stopped from spreading only through culling infected animals. The first African swine fever outbreak was registered in South Africa in 1903.

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