Belarus Blocks Polish Pork Products After African Swine Fever Flare Up21 February 2014
BELARUS - Restrictions were enforced on Thursday, 20 February, covering not only live pigs and edible pork products, but also leather goods and hunting trophies.
According to Thenews.pl, the decision follows the confirmation on Tuesday by Poland's Chief Veterinary Officer that a dead boar that had fallen victim to the virus was discovered near the village of Grzybowszczyzna, about 900 metres from the Belarusian border.
Poland is the biggest exporter of pork products to Belarus, with sales between January and November 2013 amounting to 79 million US dollars.
The first instance of the virus was discovered in Lithuania a month ago near the Belarusian border, and during a meeting of EU agricultural ministers in Brussels earlier this week, EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg argued that the findings indicate that the outbreak did not occur on EU territory.
“The fact that the three cases which have been found have been on the border with Belarus indicates that this ... was imported from the East,” he said.
Wieslaw Rozanski, chairman of the Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry (UPEMI), told Polish Radio yesterday that through the Russian ban alone, Poland could lose 2 billion euros if the embargo lasts for several months.
African Swine Fever is not dangerous to humans, but it is one of the most devastating viruses for wild boar and pigs.
TheMeatSite News Desk