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Russia may soften requirements for supplies of cheese from India — watchdog

July 30, 2015, 19:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia only allows imports of dairy products from large farms

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, July 30. / TASS /. Russia may soften its equirements for supplies of dairy products (in particular - hard cheese) from India, Alexey Alekseenko an aide of the head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) told TASS on Thursday.

He was responding to a publication in Indian media about requests to soften the requirements, which allow imports of dairy products only from large farms.

"We do not rule out a possibility of easing the requirements for India if they guarantee monitoring of products quality and health condition of animals,"- Alekseenko said.

Sanitation and hygiene concerns prompted Russia to require that milk for dairy products should be supplied only from large farms /at least thousand cattle/.

"In India, there are a lot of farms, which literally have only few cows. It is very difficult to monitor their condition," - Alekseenko said.

He added that the watchdog was ready to discuss all the issues with the Indian party.

"We are waiting for experts to work out a common position on this issue /supply of dairy products /. The experts should assess how the system of monitoring of companies and their products will function,"- the representative of Rosselkhoznadzor said.

Earlier on Thursday, The Hindu Business Line wrote that India refuses to sign the protocol with the Russian watchdog on security of dairy products supplies and insisted on easing the document.

The publication cited a source with India’s Commerce Ministry saying that India wants Russia not to restrict imports to only those dairy plants that have captive cattle farms with over a thousand cattle.

"According to Russia, if a dairy had a captive farm, it could get a certificate from an authorized veterinarian stating that the cattle had been vaccinated and there was no risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)", the newspaper said.

The protocol for security in the supply of finished dairy products from India to Russia has ten conditions. The main condition is that milk for dairy products must be obtained only from large farms that belong to the producers of final dairy products.

The protocol requires that milk obtained in the first seven days after calving should not be used in production. It also bans using the milk obtained from sick or quarantined animals.

The Russian watchdog required that representatives of the competent authorities in India should conduct their own livestock business programs and policies for control and prevention of FMD, tuberculosis, brucellosis, leukemia. The protocol also prescribed the requirements for heat treatment of the raw materials used for production.

In April, the Russian watchdog allowed exports of dairy products from India to Russia and made a list of companies and individuals with the right to supply - two Indian producers of hard cheese - Parag Milk Foods and Shreiber Dynamix Diaries. However, so far the country has not signed the protocol on security norms in veterinary and sanitary dairy production, which defers the start of supplies.

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