The group of Russian veterinarians who spent the last two weeks inspecting 17 slaughterhouses, meatpacking plants, and poultry warehouses in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, concluded its mission. on Friday, June 10, in the city of Passo Fundo.
The team’s inspection of pork production areas terminated, two days earlier, on Wednesday, June 8, in the city of Frederico Westphalen.
Nine companies in Rio Grande do Sul are licensed to export pork, and three are awaiting authorization. Another Russian mission will arrive in July to inspect the beef sector.
Following the suspension of Brazilian meat imports in September, 2004, in consequence of the reported outbreak of hoof and mouth disease in the states of Pará and Amazonas, the Russians are reevaluating the resumption of purchases.
The superintendent of the Ministry of Agriculture in Rio Grande do Sul, Francisco Signor, said that importation of beef, poultry, and pork should be resumed shortly.
According to the president of the state’s Meat Industry Syndicate, Lauro Lopes, Rio Grande do Sul should export between 120 and 130 tons of meat to Russia in the second half of the year. Rio Grande do Sul sold over 288 tons of pork to Russia in 2004.
Before preparing their final report, which will be submitted to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, the Russian technicians are expected to visit 200 companies in nine Brazilian states.