By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan has introduced a one-year restriction on import of livestock and animal products from several regions of Turkey.
The restriction will be completely removed only one year after the expiry of the quarantine, said Yolchu Khanveli, the spokesman for the State Veterinary Service under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture.
This is a normal procedure in case of foot and mouth disease epidemic, he added.
Last week, the International Epizootic Bureau reported on the detection of foot and mouth disease epidemic in Turkey.
Given this Azerbaijan temporarily restricted import of animals and animal products from several regions of Turkey, including Van, Igdir, Sinop, Kars, Corum, Kastamonu, Cankiri, Kirikkale, Amasya, Samsun, Ardahan, Agri and Erzurum.
“In case of outbreak of the foot and mouth disease epidemic the country announces quarantine, which usually lasts 21 days. After that, the International Epizootic Bureau announces the completion of the quarantine, but the export of animals, their meat or products produced from that meat from the area where the epidemic was discovered is limited within a year,” said Khanveli.
The country may reconsider import of other products from Turkey only if the certificate of the epizootic state and phytosanitary certificate in this province available.
Currently, the epizootic situation in connection with the foot and mouth disease and other infectious diseases is stable in Azerbaijan, the Veterinary Service reported.
The regular raids also conducted in the country to maintain epizootic stability and the protect public health from infectious diseases and food poisoning.
To ensure stability of the epizootic situation in Azerbaijan, the veterinary service has launched a preventive vaccination of cattle against foot and mouth disease, Khanveli added.
The vaccination of cattle will be carried out primarily in the border areas, and then in all other regions of the country, he said.
Vaccination is carried out in accordance with the measures against epizootic diseases in accordance with the requirements of the International Epizootic Bureau.
Livestock production occupies second place in the agriculture development in Azerbaijan. Livestock products in Azerbaijan are mostly imported from Brazil, Ukraine, and India.
Animal breeding is of crucial importance for restoring and protecting the country’s food security, and it has already achieved positive results.
Azerbaijan ranks the 58th among 109 countries of the world according to the Global Food Security Index 2015. It has improved its score by 7 points from its 2014 ranking.
The country is supporting cattle breeding sector. The President’s Reserve Fund will allocate 15 million manats (over $14.3 million) for the development of cattle breeding in the country this year.
The order also increases subsidies to livestock owners for each bull produced by artificial insemination to the tune of 100 manats ($95).
Another order will allocate 5.8 million manat (over $5.5 million) from the Reserve Fund to increase the production of animal products, improve the cattle breeding, and to accelerate the artificial insemination and preservation of local breeds of pedigree horses.
In ten months of this year, 385,100 tons of meat, 1,625,800 tons of milk, 1,290,000,000 eggs were produced in Azerbaijan, which is 101.8 percent, 103.8 percent and 99.3 percent more compared to the same period in 2014.
Moreover, Azerbaijan is planning to increase export of meat and milk products.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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