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Russia bans Armenian meat after ASF outbreak

Due to an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in North Armenia, Russia decided to ban all meat products coming from this country.

Russian authorities already restricted imports of some Armenian agricultural products on August 29 for the same reason.

Quarantine measures
"Transport of pork, live pigs, and animal fodder from those communities is banned," Grigor Baghian, the head of the ministry's Food Safety and Veterinary Inspectorate, told RFE/RL. Baghian said police and veterinary services have set up roadblocks outside those villages to enforce the quarantine. The authorities have also ordered a mandatory cull of all local pigs, he said, adding that more than a thousand of them have already been killed.

Baghian said his agency believes that the disease spilled into Armenia from Georgia where an swine fever outbreak occurred on a larger scale earlier this summer. Tens of thousands of pigs have died or been culled there as a result.

Drop in pork sales
Although the disease poses little danger to humans, it seems to have already reduced pork consumption in Armenia. Pork was not available for sale in one of central Yerevan's main markets on August 29. Traders in another market did sell pork which they said is supplied from the southern regions and closely inspected by food-safety experts. But they said pork sales have dropped considerably in the past few days.

Related news stories:
Russia lifts ban on German meat       
Russia to ban EU animal imports

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