Russia bans cattle imports from Romania over mad cow disease outbreak

Photo credit: (c) Liviu SOVA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

Russia's federal veterinary and phytosanitary control authority (Rosselkhoznadzor) has banned imports of bovine cattle, beef and by-products from Romania over an outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, the Russian ITAR-TASS reads.

According to a Rosselkhoznadzor release circulated on Tuesday, the ban is also applicable to processed animal proteins, animal feedstuff made of such proteins, meat-meal and bone tankage.

An outbreak of mad cow disease in Romania was registered by the International Epizootic Bureau, says ITAR TASS.

On the other hand, the Romanian national veterinary and sanitary authorities (ANSVSA) deny the above-mentioned information, stating that Russia does not import bovine cattle, beef and by-products from Romania, and that the 'epidemic' referred to is in fact an isolated, atypical BSE case which doesn't jeopardize the human health. Likewise, Romania has never registered the classic form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), the ANSVSA representatives informed.

At the beginning of June, Romania has received from the International Epizootic Bureau (IEB) a certificate by which it was recognized the status of country with BSE negligible risk.

Romania has carried tests for seven years in order to receive this IEB standard, "the optimum standard of the three it issues".

Out of the 178 IEB member countries only 25 do have the negligible risk standard as Romania, the rest of the countries having an undetermined risk.AGERPRES

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