March 5, 2012


Belarus' expert heads for Ukraine on milk, pork imports ban discussion


In order to discuss the reasons for the Ukrainian authorities' move to impose a temporary ban on dairy products and pork imports from Belarus, chief veterinary expert of Belarus headed for Kyiv on March 1.


The agriculture ministry's veterinary department said on Thursday (Mar 1) that it had not received any formal notice detailing Ukraine's concerns over the safety of the products. The department said that in February it provided to Ukraine information about what it described as an exercise held in the Hrodna region to train disinfection workers to deal with African swine fever. No further requests for information have come from Ukraine, it said. Ukraine introduced the ban on March 1, citing fears of an outbreak of African swine fever in Belarus and excessive levels of antibiotics in Belarusian milk and dairy products. Speaking on Thursday, Volodymir Horzheyev, deputy head of Ukraine's State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service, denied political motives behind the milk import ban.


He said that the watchdog had detected excessive levels of antibiotics in Belarusian milk products since October last year. The content of penicillin in some milk shipments was four times the limit, the official noted. People can develop drug-resistant infections after regularly consuming food with high antibiotic content, Horzheyev warned.