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EC Denies Lift on Romanian Pork Export Ban

18 February 2009

ROMANIA - The European Commission, in answer to a recent question put by Romanian MEP Constantin Dimitriu (EPP-ED), said it will review the situation of the Romanian pork exports after this mid-year.

According to Romanian news agency ActMedia quoting Agerpres, at present, in Romania transitory measures on animal health and combating classical swine fever are being enforced. The relevant measures are to expire on 31 December 2009.

In 2008, an inspection mission from the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office was carried out in Romania in order to check whether the meat processing units are adequate and ready to operate in the forward-processing system (the fresh swine meat coming from other member states and being processed in Romania), says the answer sent by European Commissioner on Health Androulla Vassiliou.

The commissioner adds that the result of the mission indicated the existence of a number of shortcomings related to the meat traceability. A new mission was planned for March 2009.

The Commission intends to carry out a revision of the situation after mid-2009, so as to be able to take a decision on the future measures, including one on the measures relating the trade in live swine, fresh swine meat and pork products coming from Romania.

Following the Commission's answer, Mr Dumitriu criticised the former managers of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) and the bodies responsible for solving this situation for 'not having given priority to meeting the commitments to the European Commission as fast as possible in order to lift the ban on swine meat exports and exports of pork products.

"While last year they talked of plans for a sanitary-veterinary regional structuring of Romania, it seems we are, in fact, at the same stage as when we joined the European Union", he said, adding that the ANSVSA needs a firm management, one with a European experience in order to remedy the problems in pork trading.

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