Russia bans the import of animal feed from Western countries Rosselkhoznadzor says it is afraid of GMOs, but dogs and cats are suffering
n the summer of 2020, the Rosselkhoznadzor introduced the first ban on the import of feed from Western countries, Mediazona writes . Then the department allegedly found unregistered genetically modified components in products from the Netherlands and stopped the supply of all feed and additives from this country. The ban has been in effect for a year, during which time an exception was made for only two companies.
Since March 2021, Rosselkhoznadzor – also under the pretext of combating GMOs – has closed supplies from the USA, Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Canada, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland. “We carried out an inspection in Lithuania – no one controls the traceability of GMOs, we requested an inspection in Estonia – they actually refused,” explained the head of the department Sergei Dankvert. “If we see that foreign services do not react, we close the country, then, as a result of negotiations, we start to open where they can prove our safety.”
The head of the Union of Pet Enterprises, Kirill Dmitriev, noted that at least in some cases, the Rosselkhoznadzor found violations only in feed additives for farm animals, but introduced a ban on all feed – including food for pets.
Several representatives of the industry and veterinarians at once, in a conversation with Mediazona, added that, in principle, there are fewer bans on GMOs in Western countries, so foreign manufacturers simply cannot fulfill Russian requirements.
The Union of Pet Enterprises told the government that the bans would make most of the suppliers go bankrupt, and suggested that the feed would be imported into Russia illegally from neighboring countries. The head of the organization, Kirill Dmitriev, emphasized that domestic producers cover 85% of the demand, but in Russia they do not produce dietary and medicinal animal feed. The Rosselkhoznadzor responded to this that a deficit is not expected – and vice versa, it is GMO components that can harm animals.
Despite such statements by the department, pet stores have already faced a shortage of feed. As the general director of the Petshop chain of stores Valery Sirotin told the BBC Russian Service, due to a sharp reduction in supplies, it is necessary to limit the sale of imported feed: … But it is still temporary: a couple of months will pass and the stock will run out. “
Sirotin also noted that it will not be possible to launch the production of high-quality analogs in Russia in the near future: “We have just begun to build factories to produce such economy-class feeds. We have built such a plant ourselves. But it will take some time to produce expensive feed there. Import substitution does not happen immediately, you first need to develop technologies, start with inexpensive feed, then move on to more expensive – all this takes four years. Besides, it costs a lot of money. “
Market participants disagree about the true reasons for such bans. Among them is another deterioration in relations between Russia and the West, and lobbying for the interests of domestic producers (for example, Miratorg), and “redistribution of bribes” in the Rosselkhoznadzor before the autumn elections.
According to the source of Mediazona, the supply situation may improve in August 2021, but there is no confirmation of this. “Lack of medicated feed is a disaster. Because many diseases require only diet therapy at certain stages, and only this can somehow alleviate the condition, slow down the development of the disease, ”Anna Fedeneva, a veterinarian-therapist, emphasized in a conversation with the publication.
“Many animals that have received quality food will suffer. Because for them, the transition from feed to feed can be very painful for their body, ” says a petition to the Rosselkhoznadzor demanding that the ban on the import of feed be lifted. At the time of publication, it was signed by about 52 thousand people.