EU urges Russia to lift ban on pigs, cattle, sheep

The EU has asked Russian authorities to lift their ban on an annual €75m export trade in live pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats from the EU.

The ban entered into force earlier this week.

The EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli described the ban as disproportionate and unjustified, saying the trade from the EU has in no way endangered the health of citizens of the Russian Federation.

An EU official said the decision in Moscow appeared to flout World Trade Organisation regulations.

The ban, which exempts animals for breeding purposes, will particularly affect certain member states such as Finland which send large numbers of live pigs to Russia.

A Latvian government official said two thirds of their export revenue was at risk.

Russian authorities said the ban was due to the new Schmallenberg virus and the bluetongue disease situation (although pigs are not affected by these diseases).

Meanwhile, in response to the Schmallenberg outbreak in the EU, the US Department of Agriculture has placed additional restrictions on shipments of ruminant semen and embryos from the EU.

Importations of live ruminants from the EU are already prohibited, due to BSE.

No restrictions have been placed on any ruminant products or by-products.


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