A pig farm affected by an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Russia's Far East tried to make a last-minute profit by barring government inspectors access to the site and slaughtering its livestock to sell off the meat.
Veterinary inspectors investigating the outbreak of the disease, which affects both animals and humans, had to enlist local police to gain access to the Spassky Bacon facility in the Primorye region, the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service said Friday in an online statement.
When inspectors managed to get in, they found animals exhibiting symptoms of the disease, and a laboratory analysis has since confirmed the diagnosis, the statement said.
It later became clear that employees had tried to conduct an emergency slaughter of the animals with the intention of selling the meat before it could be inspected, the statement added. It remains unclear whether any contaminated products reached stores or processing facilities.
Since the first cases of foot-and-mouth disease were reported in Primorye on May 21, the disease appears to have spread and local officials have declared an emergency situation in the region, Interfax reported.
The outbreak of the disease comes amid a ban on imports of U.S. pork, which the veterinary service, Rosselkhoznadzor, imposed last year over concerns about the use of the additive Ractopamine, a veterinary drug used to promote leanness in meat.