Russia partially lifts ban on Spanish pork

15th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Russia lifted the ban on Spanish pork imposed after the swine flu outbreak only three provinces remain on the ban.

Moscow – Russia on Thursday said it was partially lifting its controversial ban on the import of Spanish pork products imposed after the outbreak of swine flu.

Russia's food safety agency Rosselkhoznadzor said it was lifting the ban for all of Spain, with the exception of produce from the provinces of Barcelona, Seville and Valencia.

"After receiving information from Spain's federal veterinary service ... it has become possible to allow the import to Russia" of Spanish pork products, the food agency said in a statement.

The statement did not say why the ban remained in place for Barcelona, Seville and Valencia.

The European Union criticized Russia's wide-ranging bans on meat and pork imports in the wake of the outbreak of (A)H1N1 flu as "unjustified," but Moscow defended its measures.

The World Health Organization and others also denounced boycotts of pork over fears the meat could be a means of spreading the A(H1N1) virus, saying there is no evidence that properly cooked pork is a source of infection.

Russia banned on pork or meat imports generally from a string of places affected by swine flu, including Britain, Mexico, several US states, Canada and Spain. It has since lifted a ban on pork imports from five US states.

The WHO said Thursday the number of laboratory-confirmed swine flu cases has reached 6,497 in 33 countries around the world, with 65 having died from the disease. No cases have been recorded in Russia.

AFP / Expatica

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