International trade

Russia might ban US poultry transits

Bird flu could add to the tensions between Russia and the United States.

With renewed outbreaks of bird flu in the United States, Russia is now considering banning the transport of US poultry exports across Russia on their way to some Asian markets.

Poultry World reports that US consignments are shipped to Russia, and then transported overland to Kazakhstan and other central Asian destinations. Alternative routes would be considerably more costly, it said.

“The Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselhoznadzor is considering prohibiting the transit of US poultry through the country, Russian state news outlet Ria Novosti has reported, citing a source close to the matter. 

“The measure is justified with a need to protect Russia and Kazakhstan from bird flu, as the Russian officials see the veterinary situation in the US as ‘unstable’,” Poultry World reported.

When the US was hit by a previous bird flu outbreak in 2015, Russia suspended the transit of US poultry for several months. Now it seems it could happen again, but in an era of heightened international tensions.