Prospects of Pig Exports to Russia Resuming Vanishing Fast

ANALYSIS - The increase in the number of cases of African swine fever in north east Europe is making the potential for the European Union to export pork and pig meat products to Russia recede further and further.
calendar icon 18 August 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

Even if the Russian blockade to food products as a retaliatory action against the EU and other countries around the world over actions in Ukraine, is lifted, the rise in the number of cases of African swine fever in the EU will prevent any exports resuming.

To date, the European Union has officially registered 83 outbreaks of African swine fever, including 33 in domestic pigs and 50 in wild boar, according to the figures from the Russian veterinary authority Rosselkhoznador.

In Lithuania there have been seven outbreaks, Latvia 62 and Poland 14.

"At the same time, experts believe that most of the cases in Poland remain unregistered, which significantly increases the risk of introduction of the agent of the disease in a neighbouring country,” Rosselkhoznador said.

Most of the cases in the European Union have been on the borders with Belarus, which itself has recorded numerous cases of the disease.

And in Russia itself, the authorities have admitted that they have struggled to control the disease and have recorded numerous cases of breaches of the regulations designed to keep the disease under check.

Only this week, Rosselkhoznador announced that in Tartarstan tests this year have been carried out on nearly 5000 pigs and eight wild boar.

But the Russian authorities have also been tightening up on violations of the regulations with unannounced farm inspections and making farms closed farms to prevent the disease entering farms.

In this region alone the authorities have carried out 80 visits to farms unannounced.

With the situation in Russia continuing to spiral out of control and relations between Russia and the EU in apparently terminal breakdown, the prospect of pig meat and pig exports returning appears unlikely.

Over the last week, Russia has cancelled a trip to inspect processing plants in Lithuania because of the heightened situation over ASF.

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