European Commission starts assessment mission in meat processing units

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European commissioners started on August 18 in Romania an assessment mission in some meat processing units under forward processing system and a positive result would mean reassessment of intra-community trade with pork products from these units.
 
"The Romanian Meat Association requested the obtaining of the approval for the resumption of intra-community trade with meat products for some units accredited for export and which have been producing for a few years now products from raw materials of EU-origin. Unfortunately I think the mission is jut of pre-assessment, a sort of sanitary-veterinary control of these units, without having as result the obtaining of the approval for the resumption of the intra-community trade," president of the Romanian Meat Association Sorin Minea told. Minea said that 20 units from Romania are accredited for export in the European Union, but only 3-4 observe all the requirements, namely of working only with meat from the EU, not also from the domestic market.
 
The European Commission’s assessment mission will unfold over August 18-29, 2008.
 
According to president of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority, Radu Roatis, a final report drawn up by community experts might be sent 20 days after the completion of the assessment mission in 8 meat processing facilities from 6 counties. "This is the first stage of the steps we are to take in view for the country’s regionalisation so that we could export pork as well, but also meat products obtained from domestic raw material from areas where swine plague has not been reported," said Roatis.
 
Through the country’s regionalisation, every region which had not reported outbreaks of swine plague for the past six months and allowing for the ceasing of vaccination in pig breeding farms could export pork products and meat even if in other regions the swine plague is present. The president of the Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) said that the European Commission would agree the regionalisation provided pork from commercial farms do not mix with meat originating from population’s households.
 
Romania called the European Commission ever since may the resumption of the intra-community trade with pork products from units which are producing under forward processing system, but the decision is pending the assessment and monitoring made by the European Commission’s experts this month.
 
The European Commission accepted this spring Romania’s request to halt vaccination against swine plague in pig breeding farms, because the low efficiency of the used marker vaccines, and the community funds earmarked for vaccination will be used for the strengthening of biosecurity measures in these farms.
 
The vaccination against swine plague continues only individual households and for wild boar, but also in units which want to vaccinate on their own expense.
 
No outbreak of swine plague has been reported in Romania in 2008, although there were three outbreaks last year, all in Timis County, at the American farms Smithfield, where over 50,000 pigs were culled.
 
At present, in Romania there are some 5.1 million pigs in farms and population’s households, of which some 1.4 million pigs are in farms and 3.8 million in population’s households.
 
The annual consumption in Romania amounts to about 11 million pigs. Before 1989, the annual number of pigs was of about 15 million.
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