Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Latvia bans imports of meat, dairy products from Belarus

By Dzmitry Ulasaw, BelaPAN

The Latvian State Veterinary Service has imposed a temporary ban on imports of meat, meat products, milk and dairy products from Belarus over cases of African swine fever in the country.

The Latvian embassy in Minsk said on Wednesday that border guards and customs officers would examine travelers` baggage more carefully.

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Jonas Milius, director of Lithuania`s State Food and Veterinary Service, warned that the situation regarding the spread of African swine fever in Belarus was "threatening and virtually out of control."

He noted that the first case of the virus had been registered in the Hrodna region, some 30 kilometers off the Lithuanian border. Fresh cases were reported in the Vitsyebsk region close to the Latvian border, he said.

"There`s a considerable distance between the two hotbeds, and this may mean that the epidemic has spread across the entire territory of Belarus,
" Mr. Milius said.
"If there`s at least one hotbed of the infection in Lithuania or Latvia, it will stop exports from the entire European Union," he warned.