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Russian Vets to Inspect US Turkey Plants

16 September 2013

RUSSIA - Russian vets are scheduled to inspect US poultry farms in October, with aims that include ascertaining the freedom of turkey meat from the beta-agonist, ractopamine.

Russia Behind the Headlines reports that veterinary specialists from Russia's agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor will carry out inspections on US poultry farms no earlier than the end of October, one of the watchdog's spokespersons told Interfax on 12 September, after taking part in talks between the veterinary services of the two countries.

"We received a proposal from our American colleagues to carry out inspections in October but no date has been set yet, we need to check our schedules but it will probably happen at the end of the month," the official said, adding that there will definitely be inspections.

During the talks, the export of turkey meat without ractopamine to Russia was discussed, he said. Russia stopped meat supplies, including turkey, from the US on 11 February 2013 due to concerns over the use of ractopamine in its production.

Rosselkhoznadzor chief, Sergei Dankvert, told Interfax earlier that the talks were aimed at ensuring Customs Union countries are sure that the US veterinary service is doing enough to control the use of ractopamine.

The Federal Customs Union reports that the US exported $18.1 billion worth of meat, by-products and live animals to Russia in 2012, according to Russia Behind the Headlines. Supplies of frozen beef amounted to 47,900 tonnes ($223.4 million), chilled beef topped 1,000 tonnes ($16.9 million) and pork amounted to 92,100 tonnes ($300.4 million). Poultry imports to the Customs Union totalled 406,700 tonnes for $456 million. Russia obtained 74.4 per cent of supplies (in value terms) and Kazakhstan, 25.6 per cent.

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