Russia banned chicken imported from California, Belarus banned all chicken imported from the USA
Export of chicken meat, America’s largest export, has fallen under an unexpected threat. For unknown reasons chickens in the American state of California are killed with a lethal virus. Over one million of chickens were killed with the virus over the past three months. In this connection, no chicken leg raised in California will be imported in the Russian Federation within the next six months.
Deputy Chief Veterinary Inspector of the Russian Federation, Alexander Ponomarev told the Russian media that all purchases of chicken meat from California would be banned in the country. If such meat is still delivered to Russia, it will be immediately arrested and liquidated right in the ports where it arrives. Alexander Ponomarev says the virus raging in California’s poultry industry is extremely dangerous. That is why the country must avoid this risk, especially that the sanitary services of Mexico and Canada have already imposed a ban on California’s chicken.
As Russia’s newspaper Meditsinsky Vestnik (Medical Bulletin) reports, chickens in California are affected with Exotic Newcastle virus that is lethal for them. The virus is reported as not dangerous for humans.
The disease has been already discovered in three districts of Southern California. Leadership of the California Poultry Federation is afraid that the virus may affect chicken in the central part of the state as well; that is why they offer to declare the state of emergency in the US poultry industry. At the same time American exporters hope that poultry import will be recommenced rather quickly as soon as the disease if liquidated.
According to the information reported by the American mass media, the outbreak of the poultry disease in California was registered last time in 1974. At that time, over 12 million chickens were slaughtered and about 56 million dollars were spent to contain the easily transmitted disease.
By the way, the chicken epidemic in the USA is very much off the point for the commercial relations between the USA and Russia. Currently, a delegation of the Russian Agriculture Ministry carries out a large-scale examination of all of the 450 American agricultural enterprises, poultry processing plants and refrigerating plants that export chicken meat to Russia. Russian officials and veterinary inspectors will focus special attention on the states of North Caroline, Indiana, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Massachusetts, that produce the most part of chicken exported to Russia. Chicken from California was regularly supplied to Russia.
The USA had to authorize this large-scale inspection right after Russia’s complete prohibition on import of American chicken legs to the Russian Federation. On September 15, 2002, under the pressure from the Russian side, a joint Russian-American veterinary certificate was adopted; this certificate introduced tougher standards for the quality of chicken meat exported from the USA to Russia. As it turned out, Americans didn’t have much to choose from in that situation. Further prohibition of US poultry import might cause a mass bankruptcy of American agricultural enterprises and also might entail unemployment in at least four American states. Now, they may go bankrupt owing to nature.
While the USA and Russia are still bargaining about chicken meat and steel, the former Soviet republic of Belarus decided the moment to be very appropriate to do get rid of American chicken legs. Belarus Ministry of Agriculture Produce decided to suspend import of American chicken. At that, arguments to the measure resemble the arguments previously stated by the Russian Agriculture Ministry.
An official press-release of Belarus’ Ministry of Agricultural Produce says that chicken meat of American origin disagrees with the Belarus standards of quality of chicken meat. At that, officials say that reliable information concerning pathogenic microbes in American chicken meat was provided by the International Epizootic Bureau. American supplies make up about 80% of the total chicken meat import in Belarus. It is hoped that when the country faces deficit of chicken meat, it may start importing it from Russia.
Kira Poznakhirko PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2003/5/16/43/5646_Newcastle.html
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