Belarus bans hogs, pork imports from Latvia

08-07-2014 | | |
Belarus bans hogs, pork imports from Latvia

Hogs and pork imports from Latvia are banned in Belarus due to instances of animals being infected with African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

According to the Agriculture and Food Ministry’s veterinary and food product supervisory department, the ban prohibits imports and transit through Belarus of live hogs and pork meat from Latvia, including the meat of wild boars, processed meat products and other animal products amenable to the virus.

The ban also applies to animal feed and feed additives that have not been thermally treated and produced after June 27 from raw materials originating in Latvia, as well as equipment used to transport animals and materials amenable to the ASF virus.

State of emergency

At the same time Latvia may declare a state of emergency in the eastern part of the country, near its border with Belarus and Russia to fight an outbreak of ASF in some wild boars and domestic pigs.

ASF was discovered in Latvia at the end of June and earlier in both Lithuania and Poland. So far, a total of eight wild boars and three domestic pigs in Latvia have tested positive.

“Infection has gotten into wild boars and we don’t know how long it will continue to spread,” said Maris Balodis, the head of the country’s Food and Veterinary Service. “Therefore, steps which can be done in an emergency situation are preferable at this moment.”

Latvia’s agriculture minister, Janis Duklavs, said the government wanted to announce an official state of emergency in the region but the final decision will be made by parliament, which is expected to vote on the issue this Thursday.

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Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern Europe correspondent