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Ukraine temporarily suspends milk, pork imports from Belarus

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March 1, 2012, 11:50 a.m. | Business — by Interfax-Ukraine
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The State Veterinary and Biosecurity Service of Ukraine from March 1, 2012 temporarily suspended imports from Belarus of milk and dairy products and animals susceptible to African swine fever (ASF), as well as products made of them. The press service of the service reported on Wednesday that several infringements of Ukraine's veterinary and sanitary requirements were discovered during state supervision of dairy products imported from Belarus to Ukraine.

In particular, traces of veterinary drugs in dairy products from Belarusian producers exceeded the maximum permitted levels.

"This is evidence of systemic infringements and insufficient control by the empowered body in Belarus over the use of veterinary drugs, and the observation of the requirements of the importing country by Belarusian companies," the press service said.

The State Veterinary and Biosecurity Service said that on Feb. 16, 2012, in the settlement of Neznanovo in Belarus, all of the pigs at private households were killed and burnt.

However, according to the statements of the Belarusian Agriculture Ministry and the veterinary and biosecurity control department, the above-mentioned actions were carried out as a part an exercise on how to fight ASF.

"Taking into account the fact that Belarus is a member of the Customs Union, which implies the absence of customs and veterinary controls when passing the Russian border, where a difficult situation with ASF has been seen for the past five years, and taking into consideration the large number of ASF outbreaks in the central federal area of Russia last year (near the border with Belarus), there is a chance that the case in Neznanovo is linked to an outbreak of ASF in Belarus," the Ukrainian service said.

The service also said that if ASF came to Ukraine, grain exports could be banned, and a large number of pigs might have to be killed.

Restrictive measures that would cause negative economic consequences would be taken.

"The situation in Russia and uncertainty with ASF in Belarus creates a threat to Ukraine's biosecurity," the service said.
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