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Azerbaijan bans animal products imported from Georgia

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, February 5
The Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Danelia, dubs Azerbaijan’s restriction of livestock import from Georgia as being unconstructive.

Azerbaijan officially imposed a temporary ban on the import of live animals and animal products of animal origin from Georgia from January 30.

A spokesman for the State Veterinary Control of Azerbaijan Service, Yolchu Khanveli, said that the reason for the ban is the spread of the fever virus among the cattle and animals in Georgia.

“The decision on the temporary prohibition of the import of cattle, sheep and goats came into force on 30 January 2016. The epizootic situation around the country in connection with the bluetongue is stable currently,” stated Khanveli.

The National Food Agency of Georgia does not confirm the outbreak of any virus among imported animals from Georgia.

“We have the ambition to be the most reliable country in the region. Any suspicious circumstances are always reported to the International Health Organization of Animals. We want all the procedures to be transparent, and the involvement of international organizations as well,” stated Danelia.

He also said that the restriction of livestock by Azerbaijan was just a preventive measure.

“Information about any kind of virus has not been confirmed. We have sent samples to the United Kingdom’s reference laboratory and received negative answers. I understand that Azerbaijan made their decision for preventative purposes but they could have communicated their concerns to us first. It was not a collegial action,” stressed Danelia.

According to him, his Ministry has already communicated with the Azerbaijani side and it is certain that after some basic safety procedures, exports will be renewed.