June 17, 2015


From Russia, another blow on US poultry imports 



US poultry exports to Kazakhstan and several other points of destination in Asia transiting through Russia may be affected with the newly imposed ban on the transport of US live poultry, poultry products and hatching eggs on Russian territory.


Rosselkhoznadzor (Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) suspended the transportation of live poultry and products except SPF [specific-pathogen-free] eggs through Russia starting last June 10 due to bird-flu issues.


In imposing the new restriction, Rosselkhoznadzor had noted the 157 outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza recorded in 17 US states by the OIE [World Organization for Animal Health]. It also cited US Department of Agriculture statistics showing that 33.3 million birds including chicken and turkey had so far been affected (either found dead or killed) due to the outbreaks of H5N1, H5N2 and H5N8 strains of the bird flu.


Sergey Dankvert, head of Rosselkhoznadzor, said the new transport restriction was made after information reached them that "American production transited to other countries is returning to our market".


He also claimed that a number of businesses were using this method to circumvent the US poultry import ban imposed on Dec. 5 last year (for meat, offal and ready-to-eat meat products from certain US plants) and last May 26 (live poultry and hatching eggs from the entire US).


US poultry was previously reported to have been found in Siberia, and Rosselkhoznadzor claimed that US meat was being re-exported from Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan and Belarus have not imposed any restriction on US and EU poultry imports.


"Prohibited production came to our market, as we caught the shipments in numerous Russian regions, primarily in Siberia," Dankvert said.


According to industry observers, Russia's ban on the transport of US poultry and products would affect the transport of US poultry shipments to Asia that use the ports of the Russian Far East as transshipment point.


According to Russian agricultural analyst Eugene Gerden, the volume of affected shipments is not quite big, but "now, exporters will have to turn to other supply channels, which ultimately may increase the logistics costs".

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