13 Jul 2010 16:00

Russia partially lifts ban on Kazakh meat imports

ASTANA. July 13 (Interfax) - Russia has lifted its ban on meat imports from a number of regions in Kazakhstan, while leaving it in place for others, the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry told Interfax.

"The meat ban has been lifted for the Northern Kazakhstan, Kustanai, and Mangistau regions," a ministry spokesman said.

The ban still applies to meat from the Akmolinsk region. The Agriculture Ministry expects this part of the ban to be lifted soon.

"We expect that restrictions on the export of meat to Russia from the Akmolinsk region will be lifted in a month's time," the deputy chair of the ministry's state inspectorate for the agribusiness sector, Akhmetzhan Sultanov, said at a Tuesday briefing in Astana.

A quarantine imposed on the region because of foot-and-mouth will be lifted on Wednesday, Sultanov said.

Director of the ministry's department for the development of livestock husbandry and veterinary safety Rabiga Tokseitova said at the briefing that Kazakhstan plans to export 5,000 tonnes of meat to Russia this year. Agriculture Ministry figures indicate the country has ten meat-packing plants that export product to Russia.

Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor reacted to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the Akmolinsk region this past June by suspending all earlier decisions pertaining to imports of livestock product from Kazakhstan.