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  Thursday, September 19, 2019
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Russia will not lift restrictions on meat imports from Britain
Russia will not lift restrictions on meat imports from Britain, imposed over an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in southeast England in early August, before November, the veterinary watchdog said Thursday. The statement came following a European Union announcement earlier Thursday that it would lift a ban on exports of British livestock, meat and dairy products beginning Saturday, except for a small zone around two infected farms in Surrey, where the outbreak was first reported August 3. "As regards Britain, we will stick to recommendations provided by the International Epizootic Bureau. The rules stipulate that restrictions may be lifted only three months after their imposition, not earlier," Nikolai Vlasov, head of veterinary supervision at Rosselkhoznadzor, said. Russia suspended imports of meat products from the U.K. August 6. Vlasov cited the need to verify safety requirements, and added that the restrictions could remain in place for a year if Britain failed to provide trustworthy disease monitoring data. Addressing the EU decision, Vlasov said it was not surprising, as the bloc had opted to support one of its members. Around 600 animals have been slaughtered in Britain in the wake of the latest outbreak, fueling fears of a repeat of the 2001 outbreak, when 7 million animals were culled and the country sustained losses of about 8 billion pounds ($15.9 billion).
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