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Russia’s agricultural watchdog to lift ban on US pork import March 10

February 27, 2014, 15:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

After Russia banned the import of pork from the US, Europe became the only exporter of this meat to Russia

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© ITAR-TASS/Anton Butsenko

MOSCOW, February 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s agricultural watchdog will lift the ban on importing pork from the United States to compensate losses from its embargo on European pork, Alexei Alexeyenko, an assistant to the watchdog’s head, told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“We do not conceal that now we work practically day and night to open safe deliveries from other regions of the world,” he said.

The agricultural watchdog will resume the import of US pork on March 10, 2014, but only from those enterprises that oblige not to use the feed additive ractopamine, he said. It would name concrete enterprises within a week, Alexeyenko said.

“In a week we will decide how many enterprises will be allowed to export,” he said.

Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has banned the import of turkey meat containing ractopamine from the United States since September 2012 and of pork and veal with the same additive since February 13.

The watchdog imposed a ban on the import of pork and pork products from member-states of the European Union on January 30, 2014, over an outbreak of African swine fever on the territory of the EU.

According to the National Meat Association, in 2013, Russia’s production of pork, speck and by-products totalled 2.83 million tonnes. Russia’s import of pork, including that from Belarus, reached 640,000 tonnes. Aside from this Russia imported 250,000 tonnes of speck and 100,000 tonnes of by-products.

After Russia banned the import of pork from the US, Europe became the only exporter of this meat to Russia.

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