News

2016 m. January 27 d.
On 25 January, Mr Russell Nicely, Agricultural Attaché of the United States of America residing in the USA Embassy to Poland and accompanying persons from the USA Embassies to Lithuania and Poland paid a visit to the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS). Mr R. Nicely is responsible for the coordination of agriculture-related issues in Poland and the Baltic Countries as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. At the meeting with Director of the SFVS Dr Jonas Milius the visitors discussed the issues of export of meat products and egg products to the USA. Mr R. Nicely noted that, in 2015, one third of the entire production of eggs in our country was exported from Lithuania to the USA. The visitors were interested in the economic effect of the opening of the USA market to Lithuanian foodstuffs on the economy of our country. Further prospects for the export of these products were discussed, joint agreement enabling the export of meat products to the USA was welcomed. “We discussed further procedures enabling the export of Lithuanian production over the Atlantic. American specialists are concerned about the situation of African swine fever (ASF) in Lithuania. So far, the USA does not recognise the regionalisation of our country in accordance with EU requirements into three different zones and considers it as a single territory from which only heat-treated meat products can be exported”, – said Dr J. Milius. The visitors briefly presented the programme of the USA Business Mission, which is planned in Lithuania as of 20 June, to the head of the SFVS. Apart from Lithuania, American specialists and businessmen are planning business missions in Ukraine, Poland and Romania. The course of negotiations on the agreement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was also discussed at the meeting. Mr R. Nicely expressed a hope that this agreement would be signed in 2017. The opinion of the specialists was that the agreement like that would animate the trade between the both continents.  
2016 m. January 20 d.
This week, the European Commission has informed that the information on the situation of African swine fever (ASF) in Lithuania provided by the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) had been assessed favourably. Therefore, a decision favourable to Lithuania, on reducing restrictions and improving conditions for commercial activities in as many as 7 districts, was made. In view of the situation of ASF, the European Commission approved the division of the territory of our country into 3 zones: zone 1 – no ASF has been detected, zone 2 – where ASF has been detected in the wildlife (wild boar) and zone 3 – where ASF has been detected in pig holdings and the wildlife. In view of the fact that the disease has not been diagnosed in domestic pig holdings for more than 15 months in Ignalina, Molėtai, Rokiškis, Švenčionys, Utena, Zarasai and Visaginas districts, which have till now belonged to the ASF zone 3, an application was submitted to the EC for moving these districts to zone 2. The Commission has also considered results of the continuous intensive ASF surveillance programme and the facts that there are no non-commercial pig farms registered in these districts (with the highest risk for the spread of the disease) whereas small pig keepers slaughtered all their pigs for own purposes. The favourable decision made by the European Commission is important for 7 commercial pig farms operating in these districts, which fully implemented biosafety requirements and are under permanent control of official veterinary inspectors. An official permission is expected to be approved in the middle of February this year. Commercial farms located in zone 2, which are fully in conformity with biosafety requirements, can consign their pigs to other countries where the ASF virus was detected as well. Meat and meat products can be exported to other EU Member States. Prior to that, being part of zone 3, live pigs could be slaughtered only inside the country while all the products had to stay on the local market, which restricted trade and limited commercial opportunities.  
2015 m. December 01 d.
Audit of animal welfare training organised in Lithuania was conducted last week. Auditors from the Food and Veterinary Office of the Health and Food Safety Directorate General of the European Commission provided very positive conclusions on the effectiveness of the training courses for staff attending pigs and working at slaughterhouses that are carried out in Lithuania. The Veterinary Continuing Education and Counselling Centre at the Veterinary Academy of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences carries out training for staff working at slaughterhouses. It is comprised of two parts: a theoretical part of 8 academic hours and practical training at slaughterhouses of at least 4 hours. Certificates of competence are issued to persons having passed the training course with at least 3 years of work experience in the field of slaughtering animals of specific species only if they have passed a qualification test of theoretical knowledge and completed practical assignments. “The training of staff attending pigs and working at slaughterhouses, assessment of their knowledge and skills are among key aspects in increasing the level of animal welfare and protection in our country. There is no doubt that the safety and quality of food of animal origin depend on animal keeping and transportation conditions, however, due behaviour during their slaughter is also very important. Therefore, the qualification of staff working at slaughterhouses is under continuous improvement with a focus on their professional level. This was confirmed by the auditors who acknowledged that the training was well organised, that it was valuable and efficient, the presented topics and information were in conformity with all animal welfare and protection requirements”, – said Senior Veterinarian-Official Veterinary Inspector of the Animal Health and Welfare Department of the State Food and Veterinary Service Mr Giedrius Blekaitis. The experts of the European Commission who conducted the audit provided very favourable opinion on the round-table discussions carried out by organisers of the training as well as surveys of participants on the quality of training, relevance of the topics presented and other issues. With consideration of survey results the organisers can further improve the training programme, and its quality. The auditors visited territorial units of the State Food and Veterinary Service, the Centre for Leader Programme and Farmers' Training Methodology, Lithuanian Agricultural Advisory Service, Veterinary Continuing Education and Counselling Centre at the Veterinary Academy of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.  
2015 m. November 26 d.
This week, a delegation of Central American countries have been visiting the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) with the aim to get familiarised with the official food and veterinary control carried out in Lithuania, animal health and welfare policy, import and transit control procedures. A group of ten people comprised of specialists from the European Commission, competent authorities of Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador have been visiting Lithuania. During the meeting, the visitors made presentations on food and veterinary issues faced by their countries, listened to presentations delivered by Lithuanian specialists. Deputy Director of the SFVS Dr Vidmantas Paulauskas, Deputy Head of the Animal Health and Welfare Department Ms Kristina Stakytė, Head of the Veterinary Sanitary Department Mr Deividas Kliučinskas and Head of the Border Food and Veterinary Control Department Mr Egidijus Pumputis presented the functions, objectives and the official control to the members of the delegation and answered their questions. The delegation of Central American countries has visited the branch of AB “Pieno žvaigždės” in Kaunas – the establishment “Kauno pienas”, the meat processing establishment in Utena UAB “Utenos mėsa” and a meat processing unit of the establishment UAB “Biovela“. “This study trip has been organised by the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission. It has been aimed at introducing specialists of Central American countries to the implementation of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) in the EU Member States. The cooperation with countries of this region is getting more and more intensive. Lithuania is strengthening its business relations as well. This year alone, the Lithuanian milk processing establishment AB “Žemaitijos pienas” has been entitled to export its production to Costa Rica, the export fishery products from Lithuania to Panama has been started”, – commented Dr. Vidmantas Paulauskas, Deputy Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service. The European Commission has planned visits under the SPS agreement for the delegation of Central American countries to two EU Member States– Lithuania and Italy. Yesterday in the afternoon, after the visit to our country, the guests left for Milan.  
2015 m. November 20 d.
On 16–21 November, a delegation headed by Minister for Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania Ms Virginija Baltraitienė is visiting Beijing (the People’s Republic of China). Two documents of particular importance for Lithuania have been signed during the visit. Minister for Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) Dr Jonas Milius and Head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ) have signed a trilateral protocol on the veterinary and hygiene requirements that will apply to dairy products exported from Lithuanian to China. Moreover, Heads of the SFVS and the AQSIQ have signed a bilateral protocol on the requirements for export of breeding cattle from Lithuania to China. In the words of Director of the SFVS, the signing of these documents refers to the official confirmation that both countries have agreed on the general requirements to be met by Lithuanian dairy products and breeding cattle intended for export. “We have confirmed by signing these protocols that thanks to different consultations, negotiations and visits of Chinese experts to our country we had managed to reach mutually satisfactory agreements. Responsibilities and obligations of control institutions in both countries have been defined by the Protocol, general and special requirements for cattle and dairy products to be exported have been specified. For example, it has been established by the Protocol that our institution will be held responsible for the health control of cattle as well as the safety and quality control of dairy products to be exported. This serves as an evidence that the competent institution of China trusts the official veterinary control system functioning in Lithuania and our capacity to ensure that the agreements which are reached are duly observed”, – emphasised Dr. Jonas Milius. The requirements for dairy products and breeding cattle stipulated in the Protocol will be transposed to relevant export certificates – major documents without which no export of any animal origin production or live animals is possible. The official agreement of models and forms of the veterinary export certificates and the approval of lists of manufacturing establishments approved for the export will serve as a sign of the successful finalisation of the negotiations on the export of dairy products to China. These agreements are expected to be reached in the near future. Audits conducted by Chinese experts this year at Lithuanian farms engaged in livestock farming and dairy farming, milk processing establishments, laboratories, cattle quarantine centres, etc. have played an important role in the course of the negotiations.  

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Naudinga informacija

Naujienos

2016 m. January 27 d.

On 25 January, Mr Russell Nicely, Agricultural Attaché of the United States of America residing in the USA Embassy to Poland and accompanying persons from the USA Embassies to Lithuania and Poland paid a visit to the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS). Mr R. Nicely is responsible for the coordination of agriculture-related issues in Poland and the Baltic Countries as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

2016 m. January 20 d.

This week, the European Commission has informed that the information on the situation of African swine fever (ASF) in Lithuania provided by the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) had been assessed favourably. Therefore, a decision favourable to Lithuania, on reducing restrictions and improving conditions for commercial activities in as many as 7 districts, was made.

2015 m. December 01 d.

Audit of animal welfare training organised in Lithuania was conducted last week. Auditors from the Food and Veterinary Office of the Health and Food Safety Directorate General of the European Commission provided very positive conclusions on the effectiveness of the training courses for staff attending pigs and working at slaughterhouses that are carried out in Lithuania.

2015 m. November 26 d.

This week, a delegation of Central American countries have been visiting the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) with the aim to get familiarised with the official food and veterinary control carried out in Lithuania, animal health and welfare policy, import and transit control procedures.
A group of ten people comprised of specialists from the European Commission, competent authorities of Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador have been visiting Lithuania.

2015 m. November 20 d.

On 16–21 November, a delegation headed by Minister for Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania Ms Virginija Baltraitienė is visiting Beijing (the People’s Republic of China). Two documents of particular importance for Lithuania have been signed during the visit.