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Sanctions on Russian feed could cause ‘animal welfare issues’

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Russia and Ukraine are both major grain exporters. Photograph: Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters

Russia and Ukraine are both major grain exporters. Photograph: Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters

Russia and Ukraine are both major grain exporters. Photograph: Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters

Four Russian boatloads of animal feed ingredients have been allowed into Ireland since the start of EU-wide sanctions prohibiting Russian-flagged ships from accessing EU ports over the war in Ukraine, the Farming Independent has learned.

 

The Department of Agriculture confirmed that it made four recommendations to the Department of Enterprise “for authorisation of derogations” to allow vessels to dock in Irish ports after April 16 — the date when the wartime trade sanctions came into effect.

It comes as the Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) has warned that these EU sanctions “may result in animal welfare issues” on Irish farms.

Furthermore, it has been confirmed that 98,407t of animal feed ingredients — largely dried (sugar) beet pulp, sunflower seed meal, and soyabean hulls — were imported from Russia between January 1 and May 31 this year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said: “

These four recommendations were for imports that met the specific criteria and were in respect of contracted purchases prior to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“The sanction has an explicit derogation to allow for the import of agricultural and food products.

“Feed import companies have been actively engaged in sourcing alternative feed and feed materials from existing and new sources, and regular commercial activities in this regard are continuing.”

The IGFA said: “While nobody disputes the sanctions against Russia, these restrictions have placed increasing difficulties on feed supplies and logistics.

“The immediate implementation of sanctions can have a detrimental impact on feed supplies and can result in animal welfare issues if feed supplies cannot be delivered.

“IGFA appreciates the work done by government in granting derogations for shipments of animal feed.”

Ireland is just 36pc self-efficient in animal concentrate feeds considered a key dietary source of energy and protein in livestock, pig and poultry systems.

The country imports around 3.5m million tonnes of feed ingredients from up to 60 countries a year.

The EU has an acute deficit in protein feed.

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