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Russia bans pork imports from Latvia

Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor has banned imports of finished pork products from Latvia because of the recently reported outbreaks of African Swine Fever virus (ASF) in the country, according to a report by the department.

"In addition, it is most likely the further spread of ASF in the territory of the European Union will be in the direction of Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and other countries bordering with ASF countries," stated the report of Rosselkhoznadzor.

Earlier Rosselkhoznadzor imposed restrictions on the importation of live pigs and raw pig products from Latvia from 7 May 2014 due to the deterioration of the epizootic situation in the country regarding Classical Swine Fever.

According to the data of the Russian Federal Customs Service, Latvia annually supplies Russia with live pigs, pork and pork products to the total value of US$8 million - or 4,000 tonnes of live weight.

Earlier Rosselkhoznadzor imposed a ban on imports of live pigs and pork from all EU countries because of the threat that African Swine Fever could spread. For the same reason since 7 April the agency limited supplies to Russia of all kinds of finished pork products from Poland and Lithuania.

At the same time, experts say that the outbreak of ASF in Latvia will have a very serious effect as it is likely to postpone the preliminary decision of the Russian veterinary watchdog on the partial lifting of the ban on the import of pigs to Russia from Europe. Rosselhoznadzor has been planning to consider such step in July.

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