Russia has lifted its ban on imports of pork from Quebec effective June 30, International Trade Minister Stockwell Day said Friday. The ban remains in place on uncooked pork from Ontario.
Day visited Russia in late June, and officials there initially refused to lift the bans because of their contention that the H1N1 virus is more rampant in Canada than in the U. S.
Russia has now lifted H1N1-related restrictions on pork and pork products from Quebec that were produced before June 2 and after June 30. Russia also lifted restrictions against some Ontario products, including beef and poultry, but its ban on Ontario pork remains in place because of the prevalence of the H1N1 virus in humans in the province, said Jacques Pomerleau, executive director of Canada Pork International.
But Russia’s announcement “is still significant because (Quebec) is where most of the (pork-processing) plants are based in Canada,” Pomerleau said.
Russia had earlier lifted bans on pork and swine from Alberta, Nova Scotia and B. C. Over a dozen countries are believed to still have at least partial bans on Canadian pork or swine, most notably China.