Recent news accounts have reported that beginning March 20, Russia will ban cattle imports from throughout the European Union. The move is in response to concerns over the spread of the Schmallenberg and Bluetongue viruses. According to a recent article, the action is a result of “a failure by the EU sanitary agencies to provide . . . information about the epidemic, countermeasures, and antidote researches.”

Russia’s National Meat Association head, Sergei Yushin, said that Russia is applying the basic precautions of the World Trade Organization as if Russia was a full member of the WTO in order to “eliminate any risks because there can be risks.”

The Schmallenberg virus is an infection spread by blood-sucking insects that causes fever, gastrointestinal disorder, a sharp drop of milk production and miscarriages. Bluetongue is also an insect-borne disease mainly found in sheep, which causes excessive salivation, swelling of the face and tongue and cyanosis of the tongue.

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