Russia alone in banning live pig imports from EU – Bikya Masr

March 17, 2012
so who is buying the pigs? The Arabs? The Jews? I’m telling you… eating this white meat ain’t a good idea. Oink!

( bikyamasr) Brussels (dpa) – Russia is the only country that has adopted the “disproportionate” step of banning live pig imports from the European Union in reaction to a new animal disease called the Schmallenberg virus, the bloc’s executive said on Friday.
On Thursday EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, speaking on behalf of the health commissioner, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that “more than 10″ non-EU nations were “applying or preparing to apply trade restrictive measures.”
On Friday, European Commission officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told dpa that the countries are 15: Ukraine; Mexico; Egypt; Lebanon; Algeria; Japan; Morocco; Argentina; USA; Canada; Brazil; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Belarus; Kazakhstan and Russia.
But Russia is the only nation intending “to put in place disproportionate measures, covering also live pigs, which have not been affected by the disease.”
The others have put in place precautionary measures “covering mainly genetic material, or they require a special attestation indicating that the animals are free of the disease,” EU sources said.
The Russian ban on pig imports – coming on top of similar measures against sheep and goats – is set to come into effect on March 20. Hedegaard said an EU commission was in Moscow to discuss the matter.
The EU exported almost 100,000 euros (131,700 dollars) worth of live pigs to Russia last year – up from 54,500 euros five years before.
The Schmallenberg virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and midges. Cases have been reported in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain.
The virus leads to “congenital malformations,” mainly in sheep and less often in cattle and goats, a committee of experts from the EU and national governments said in January. It also causes “mild clinical signs” in cattle.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control found in December that “it is unlikely that this virus can cause disease in humans, but it cannot be completely excluded at this stage.”