Ban on imports of feeding stuff: Rosselkhoznadzor condemns pets to hunger

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Ban on imports of feeding stuff: Rosselkhoznadzor condemns pets to hunger
Ban on imports of feeding stuff: Rosselkhoznadzor condemns pets to hunger
2 July 2021, 18:52Economy
For pet owners, as well as veterinary pet food stores, these are dark times. By the decision of the Rosselkhoznadzor, the import of feed, including medicinal feed, was stopped. There is practically no own production of them in Russia.

Irina Mishina

Going into a veterinary store lately, you are surprised every time more and more: the prices of food for cats and dogs are growing every day in arithmetic progression. The fact is that supplies of animal feed to Russia from several foreign countries have stopped. It is forbidden to import feed, which has always been the standard of quality and care for a pet.

And it would be fine if the Russian market could provide worthy analogs. But they are not. Therefore, everything that happens is a direct threat to the lives of thousands of pets, primarily cats and dogs.

“The situation can be very sad for many pets. There are types of medicinal feeds that are not produced in Russia. It's the same with drugs. But many animals, cats, dogs, live on these medicinal feeds, are accustomed to them. The entire line of these medicinal feeds is produced abroad. The direct consequence can be the threat of extinction of pets. We are told that imported feed can harm the animals. But personally, in all my practice, I have never met such cases. The food is selected and recommended by veterinarians in veterinary clinics. The situation seems to me to be very alarming and unpredictable", - Aleksandra Polesskaya, veterinarian at the Zoovetsnab Reutovo clinic, told Novye Izvestia.

“I see no way out of this situation, except for one thing: to prepare medicinal feed for animals ourselves, as it was before, in the USSR. This will set us back about half a century and create huge problems - both for animals and their owners, and for veterinarians”, - says Anna Kalmykova, veterinarian of the Movvet clinic .

There is another aspect to this problem. Restrictions related to the feed trade will inevitably reduce the number of jobs in pet shops, leaving tens of thousands of people unemployed.

Why was there a ban on the import of medicinal and dietary feeds? Novye Izvestia addressed this issue to the Rosselkhoznadzor. Here is the answer received by the editors.

“The Rosselkhoznadzor has introduced temporary restrictions on the supply of feed and feed additives for animals to Russia from 11 countries. The ban does not apply to specific enterprises, but to all feed companies in these 11 states. The measures were taken due to the lack of an effective control system for the specified products. The Rosselkhoznadzor states that in many European countries the authorities have lowered the level of state control over the quality of feed and feed additives. This is taking place against the backdrop of a worsening situation for dangerous animal diseases. So, in the EU countries since the beginning of 2021, 7182 outbreaks of African swine fever have been registered, including 2222 in Hungary, 1608 in Poland, 1198 in Romania, 1083 in Slovakia, and 711 in Germany. In 23 EU countries during the same period, about 1,000 foci of highly pathogenic avian influenza were identified. In connection with the registration of such a significant number of cases of diseases, the veterinary services of the states had to adjust the approach to feed control and ensure their traceability. However, the inspections carried out by the Service have helped to establish that the origin of the raw materials used to manufacture such goods is not traceable. The temperature regimes of feed production are not controlled either, which threatens the introduction of viruses of dangerous diseases when supplied to the Russian Federation. The Rosselkhoznadzor inspections also revealed other problems: in a number of supplying countries, there is no systematic control over the content of stimulants for the growth of animal muscle mass, heavy metals, mycotoxins, antibiotics, pesticides and GMOs in feed products. This is confirmed by the results of Rosselkhoznadzor monitoring of imported feed and feed additives imported into Russia. In the course of laboratory tests, various inconsistencies were repeatedly revealed in the products, including unregistered GMO components and other substances that should not have been present in it".

As a result, since July last year, the supply of feed and feed additives from the Netherlands has been suspended, since March 2 - from the USA, since March 17 - from Spain, from Germany, since June 1 - from Lithuania, since June 9 - from Estonia, since June 17 - from Canada and Great Britain, from June 21 - from the Czech Republic, from June 24 - from Latvia, from June 25 - from Poland. Sounds like a sanctions list, doesn't it? But why do pets and veterinary shops and clinics fall under these sanctions? What are they guilty of? And it would not be logical to first create your own efficient production of pet food, and only then prohibit?

And one more oddity. Rosselkhoznadzor, after detecting violations at individual feed manufacturers, prohibits the supply of absolutely all manufacturers from this country, including those who produce feed exclusively for pets. Including for cats, dogs, aquarium fish. And at the same time, it threatens the closure of stores selling them. By the way, today there are about 12 thousand pet shops, 3 thousand veterinary clinics, 130 importing companies in the industry. A total of about 4 thousand companies and individual entrepreneurs, providing about 70 thousand jobs. The Union of Pet Enterprises believes that the ban on the import of feed will lead to bankruptcy of most of the industry's enterprises and monopolization of the market by the largest players whose products are sold by grocery chains. They assumed that the feed would be imported into Russia illegally, most likely through the territory of Belarus and Kazakhstan, where there are no prohibitions.

In this regard, the Union of Pet Enterprises has already asked the public ombudsman for small and medium-sized businesses Anastasia Tatulova to help lift the ban on the import of feed for unproductive animals, which include dogs and cats. This is stated in a letter signed by Kirill Dmitriyev, chairman of the Opora Rossii pet business commission: “We ask you to help lift the ban on the import of feed for unproductive animals (cats, dogs, aquarium fish, etc.) for manufacturing companies whose products do not unregistered GMO components were found".

“The reason for the introduction of the ban in the case of the United States was the discovery of unregistered GMO components in the feed additive for productive animals, in the case of Spain - a substitute for whole milk for feeding farm animals, in the case of Germany - feed for horses. That is, the Rosselkhoznadzor finds violations in individual enterprises that produce products for productive animals, and a ban is imposed on all enterprises in the country that produce feed for domestic animals", - said Kirill Dmitriyev, chairman of the Opora Rossii zoo business.

I feel sorry for the animals immensely. Their transition from quality food to normal food can be not only painful, but also destructive for the body. What will happen to pet food?

NI called the Russian offices of the French company Pro Plan Purina. There we were told that in Russia there is a production of feeds analogous to this company, such a plant operates in the Kaluga region. “We make veterinary dietetic foods, so our products shouldn't disappear completely,” a company spokesman said. - As far as I know, the import of the products of the Hills and Royal canin firms is prohibited.

In the representative office of the company "Royal canin" we were informed that the products are still available in retail outlets. But in the representative office of "Hills" the editorial staff did not answer ...

It is obvious that even in the case of the development of domestic analogues, medicinal pet food will not correspond to the quality of imported food - just as the generic will never reach the quality of the original.

Meanwhile, on change.org more than 60 thousand signatures were collected in a petition to the Rosselkhoznadzor demanding to lift the ban on imports of animal feed.

The comments below it speak for themselves.

P.S.

Of course, pets will not go hungry in the literal sense. Simply imported feed will replace the so-called "human food". About 30 years ago it was normal, although throughout the civilized world feeding dogs and cats "peeplesfood" was considered one of the forms of slaughter. Apparently, Russia is returning to a dense "scoop" not only in terms of censorship and political freedoms. Now it's the turn of our smaller brothers...

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