Belarus' ban on Russian pork imports not detrimental - watchdog

MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti) - A ban Belarus has introduced on Russian pork imports will not be detrimental to Russia's economy, the Russian agricultural watchdog said Wednesday.

Belarus on Wednesday banned pork imports from Russia over the recent African swine fever outbreak.

"Russia is not a major supplier of swine and pork to Belarus. The restriction made by Belarus will not seriously affect us," Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Alexei Alexeyenko said.

African swine fever, or Montgomery's disease, was first reported in Africa in 1903. Both domestic and wild animals can become infected when they come into contact with sick animals. The virus does not affect humans.

African swine fever hit Russia's southern Rostov Region in late September, and then spread to the neighboring Republic of Kalmykia.

Besides the two regions the disease has been registered in five other regions in Russia's south, including North Ossetia, the republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia, and the Stavropol and Krasnodar territories.

In mid-October Ukraine tightened border controls with Russia in order to prevent the spreading of swine fever to its territory.


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