January 31, 2020
EU temporarily bans Ukraine poultry meat imports after bird flu outbreak
Ukraine poultry meat products are temporarily banned from entering the European Union following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has led to the culling of at least 98,000 birds, according to a Poultry News report.
The outbreak was first confirmed in the Vinnytsia region, a major poultry-producing area, where Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP), the country's largest poultry producer, operates. MPH exports large volumes of poultry products to the EU. MHP said it supplied more than 100,000 tonnes of chicken meat to the EU in 2019.
Ukraine, which is the third-largest exporter of poultry to the EU and the fourth-biggest poultry producer in the world, suspended its poultry exports to the EU on Jan. 22 upon the EU health and food safety director general's advice. The Ukrainian veterinary authorities won't certify poultry imports into the EU until the country is certified free of avian influenza, also known as bird flu.
However, Taras Kachka, the deputy minister of economic development, trade and agriculture, said the EU decision to suspend poultry meat imports from Ukraine was premature, as per the report.
"The EU decision to restrict the import of poultry meat due to the case of bird flu in Vinnytsia region is much stricter than it should be. Nevertheless, we are actively and jointly working to quickly adjust this decision," he reportedly said in a Facebook post.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for MHP said in a statement that the company "continues to operate as usual, commencing all necessary steps as it is dictated in its export diversification strategy, which has been enacted by the Management".
"MHP continues to adhere to the best available quality and biosecurity standards and sells its products both locally and to countries, where the export ban is not applicable", the statement added, as per the Poultry News report.