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Russia aims to cut poultry imports by 17 percent

The Russian Agriculture Ministry has suggested cutting all imports of poultry by 17 percent in 2009, whilst calling on US producers to alter their production technology at poultry plants.

"We suggest reducing import quotas on poultry meat next year by 200,000 tons," Minister Alexei Gordeyev was quoted as saying by Russian news service RIA Novosti.

Reduce build-up
Gordeyev previously announced that Russia planned to cut imports of pork and poultry in an effort to reduce a build-up that was "no longer in Russia's interests."

The majority of Russia's poultry imports come directly from the United States. The US provided 870,000 metric tons of poultry meat to Russia in 2008, supplying most of the  country's 1.2 million metric ton quota.

This recent announcement follows Russia's decision last week to ban poultry imports from 19 US producers.

Production technology
Russia's chief sanitary doctor said that US poultry manufacturers should change their production technology if they want to export to Russia. "We have banned poultry produced using the outdated technology of disinfection with chlorine," said Gennady Onishchenko.

"Such technology is used only at the oldest factories in Russia, while Americans use it at advanced farms."

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