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Indian Poultry Meat Could Plug Gap for Russia

by 5m Editor
29 March 2010, at 12:19p.m.

RUSSIA - Russia is ready to import poultry meat from India, following talks in Moscow last week.

Russia is ready to import poultry from India if the US does not resume its supplies, Russian agriculture minister Yelena Skrynnik said after a meeting with her Indian counterpart last week.

RIA Novosti reports that the US, which supplied 22 per cent of poultry consumed in Russia last year, was unable to continue imports after 1 January, when new sanitary requirements came into force in Russia.

Ms Skrynnik said India, a major poultry producer, has already expressed its readiness to supply its products to Russia, as well as Turkey and Thailand.

She said: "At the moment, actually this week, we found out that we have excessive stocks of poultry products on our farms, so we stopped discussions by now. But, theoretically, if we need poultry, we can buy it from India."

The new regulations, which apply to both imports and meat processed in Russia, state that the amount of chlorine in the solution used for the processing of poultry meat should not exceed the level set for drinking water, 0.3-0.5 milligrams per litre. They also state that the fluid that separates when the meat is defrosted should not exceed four per cent of the total weight of the bird.

Chlorine has been used as the primary anti-microbial treatment in the United States for a quarter of a century.

Russian-US talks on the issue have continued, with the latest round held in the first week of March, reports RIA Novosti.

Russia's chief sanitary official, Gennady Onishchenko, said last week that a draft agreement on US poultry supplies to Russia was almost ready, but it did not mean that the supplies would definitely resume in the near future.

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