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Russia bans pangasius import from Vietnam

January 20, 19:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The decision followed an inspection in December 2013 and repeated identification of microbe pollution or dangerous and harmful substances in the fish
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MOSCOW, January 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned import of Vietnamese pangasius and its products from January 31, an aide to Rosselkhoznadzor’s head, Alexei Alexeyenko, told Itar-Tass.

The decision followed an inspection in December 2013 and repeated identification of microbe pollution or dangerous and harmful substances in these products. Eight facilities faced Rosselkhoznadzor’s ban on all fish imports, including various kinds of ocean fish.

Rosselkhoznadzor’s specialists and experts of the relevant authorities of the Customs Union checked fish and seafood farms as well as facilities farming pangasius in mariculture. Inspection stated the farms continued uncontrolled use of antibacterial substances. However, the watchdog reports that checks for some antibacterial substances applied at farms, including antibiotics, are carried out neither by the state control authorities nor the farms themselves.

Furthermore, the inspection revealed hormone medications. Besides, fish from the farms was transported in nets in overboard water, which enhances the risk of bacterial seeding, the Customs Union’s specialists believe.

The checks also showed fish delivered to facilities for processing had no veterinary documentation, while veterinary conditions at laboratories that used old chemical agents were below standard.

Vietnamese veterinary authority made no inspection of the farms’ compliance with the requirements of the Customs Union and Russia, neither were the farms familiar with these standards and regulations. Export certificates also often breached the receiving countries’ legislation.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, last year mesophilic aerobic and facultative anaerobic microorganisms, E. coli and listerias were revealed in fish products from almost half of the Vietnamese exporting farms, that is 16 out of 35 facilities certified for export to the Customs Union. In this situation the watchdog introduced intense laboratory control.

Russian Federal Agency for Fishery and Rosselkhoznadzor has repeatedly announced claims against low safety and quality of fish imported from Southeast Asia, primarily pangasius and tilapia.

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