Moscow, March 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s food safety and sanitary watchdog will ban cattle imports from all EU countries from March 20 following the spread of the Schmallenberg and Bluetongue viruses.
“Rosselkhoznadzor considers it necessary to inform market participants about the decision to suspend cattle and small livestock and pigs imports from the European Union states from March 20,” the watchdog said in a statement.
The service will impose the ban owing to a failure by EU sanitary agencies to provide the Russian watchdog with information about the animal epidemic, counter-measures and antidote researches.
Schmallenberg virus, named after the German city where it was first identified in August 2011, is spread by blood-sucking insects. The infection causes fever, gastrointestinal disorder, a sharp drop of milk production and miscarriages.
Bluetongue is also an insect-borne disease of ruminants, mainly sheep, which causes excessive salivation, swelling of the face and tongue and cyanosis of the tongue.