Russia imposed a temporary ban on live cattle imports from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Britain and France starting Feb. 1 because of the Schmallenberg virus, the government’s Rosselkhoznadzor said.
In November, the disease provisionally named Schmallenberg virus was found in infected cattle in Germany, causing malformation in calves and still births, according to the European Commission. The virus has since been found in cattle, sheep and goats in the Netherlands, Belgium and the U.K., notices to the World Organization for Animal Health show.
“Of course, this ban is important for the European countries because they have economic problems,” Guljahan Kurbanova, an economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s regional office for Europe and Central Asia in Moscow, said by telephone. “Any kind of such bans means additional restriction of economic activity for these countries and brings further negative trends there.” The FAO is part of the United Nations.