Russia's food safety watchdog is ready to discuss resuming U.S. pig imports and is also drawing up veterinary certificates for the supply of stud pigs from the European Union to Russia.
The Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service suspended pig imports from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa at the end of May, citing outbreaks of the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv. The ban has already cost U.S. producers millions of dollars, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, or USMEF, said in May.
Watchdog head Sergei Dankvert said Tuesday that the U.S. ban could be lifted if additional guarantees about the safeness of the pigs were provided, Interfax reported.
Russia also banned the import of pork and live pigs from the EU on Jan. 30, 2014, due to concerns about the presence of African swine fever in the bloc. In April, the EU filed a lawsuit against Russia with the World Trade Organization over the ban.
Dankvert said Tuesday that his agency has sent the EU pig import certificate to its Kazakh and Belarussian counterparts for approval, after which it will be forwarded to Brussels, Interfax reported.
The certificate contains a number of requirements that would need to be met if EU imports are to be resumed, including the condition that no pigs could be sent to Russia from countries bordering Poland and Lithuania, where cases of African swine fever were detected earlier this year.