News

2020 m. March 27 d.
The specialists from the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute (NFVRAI) are ready to assist the laboratories of medical institutions as the need for testing COVID-19 in the country continues to grow. Although the COVID-19 testing method is currently not accredited by the NFVRAI laboratory, there are thousands of other diagnostic tests for viruses being performed every year that are similar to COVID-19 detection. Therefore, the laboratory is now in the final stages of preparing for carrying out such tests. “The NFVRAI is a reference laboratory in our country, being accredited for the laboratory testing of foodstuffs, water, feed and animals, and of common pathogens (zoonoses) in humans and animals. The specialists of this laboratory perform molecular virological and bacteriological tests every day. Thus, we are also ready to join the COVID-19 testing. I hope this will ease the burden on medical laboratories and ensure that the results of tests reach the medics and the Lithuanian people as soon as possible”, – says Darius Remeika, the Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS). The NFVRAI has all the equipment complying with the requirements for a molecular biology laboratory and three biosafety laboratory facilities necessary for work with dangerous human viruses. The researchers of the NFVRAI regularly participate in joint molecular, virological and bacteriological trainings as well as comparative and proficiency testing organised by the member states of the European Union. According to the Head of the NFVRAI, Dr. Gediminas Pridotkas, one COVID-19 test could be carried out by a laboratory in about 3-4 hours and, if needed, the laboratory would be able to test about 300 samples for coronavirus per 24 hours. At the moment, the NFVRAI is mobilising all the necessary human and technical resources and awaiting for the reagents required for the samples to be taken and the permission from the Ministry of Health to perform the tests. All organisational issues should be resolved in the coming days.
2020 m. February 11 d.
The Government annually allocates more that 3 million Euros for the development of the national animal breeding system. The following activities are supported: recording purebred animals into breeding books, animal genetic quality analyses, production recording (e. g., assessment of animal conformation, weighing animals, etc.), participation in contests or other events aimed at promotion of farm animal breeding. Although this kind of support has been provided for a few years, there are still questions coming up to those who wish to apply for this kind of support. Breeding specialists of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) give answers to those questions. Who may be a beneficiary of the support? The support is granted for final beneficiaries – farmers or legal persons engaged in primary production of agricultural products, which comply with the definition of a small and medium-sized enterprise provided in Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014. The support is provided in kind, i. e. farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises engage in primary production of agricultural products seeking to receive the support do not receive any direct payments. The state support covers payment for services obtained by beneficiaries from recognised breeding organisations in the breeding programmes of which they participate, or from other service providers. Specific price rates for the support to be provided are specified in the Rules for Breeding Support. For example, in the process of keeping breeding books for purebred breeding animals, recognised breeding organisations may apply for the compensation of 100 per cent of administrative costs incurred per each recorded purebred breeding animal. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of costs incurred may be compensated by the Government for production recording of breeding dairy animals and breeding meat cattle and pigs (including cattle weighing), determination of the genetic quality of breeding farm animals (for example, conformation assessment). How is the payment of the support performed? To obtain this support, one of the major conditions is the participation in a breeding programme implemented by one of the recognised breeding organisations. However, the support can be paid out not only through recognised breeding organisations but also through production recording service providers, which were delegated such functions by a breeding organisation. If an animal kept by a farmer or a small or medium-sized enterprise engaged in primary production of agricultural products is recorded in the main section of the breeding book of the respective breed or if final beneficiaries performed production recording and invited experts for the assessment of animal conformation, etc., breeding organisations have to apply for compensations for the services provided and the related costs incurred. They have to submit documents of the fixed form, which specify the costs incurred, which are applied for compensation. The SFVS has to assess if the services were duly provided and if the data were recorded in the database, and then provide a conclusion to the National Paying Agency. After those procedures have been completed, the support is paid out. The SFVS at the same time receives a list of final beneficiaries with the indication of each farm animal breeder and the amount of the support granted to him/her. Each member of a recognised breeding organisation or participant of a breeding programme has the right to receive services on equal terms. Can support differ when breeding programmes are the same? Funds are distributed among breeding organisations proportionally based on the numbers of animals participating in breeding programmes. The volumes of breeding work entitled for state support are distributed in proportion with the quantities of animals by the Breeding Support Commission established by order of Minister for Agriculture. This Commission, in view of the volumes of work to be carried out and the support budget allocated for the current year, can decrease the intensity of the support. In this case, the support to be granted is also decreased for all participants proportionally. Each breeder participating in a breeding programme of a recognised breeding organisation has the right to receive information on the support granted to him/her by the Government, on the internal rules of procedure, which should ensure equal rights for all breeders. In case of any founded doubts concerning the violation of these rights, one may always approach the SFVS, which carries out the official supervision.   More information is available at: - List of recognised breeding organisations; - Rules for Breeding Support.
2020 m. February 03 d.
By order of Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), all poultry keepers are instructed that, as from tomorrow, 4 February, poultry have to be kept in fenced backyards, pens or in closed premises to protect them against potential contacts with wild birds. This requirement applies both to poultry kept for own purposes and commercial poultry farms to protect them against the virus of avian flu, which is currently spreading in Europe. Observations of Lithuanian ornithologists show that the spring migration of grey geese, whooper swans and other wild birds is already starting in our country. In relation to the growing intensity of the movement of wild birds and the complex situation of avian flu in Poland and other European countries, the risk of introduction of the highly pathogenic avian flu virus (H5N8) into Lithuania has even more increased as major vehicle of the disease in the wildlife is wild waterfowl. Upon entry into force of order of Director of the SFVS, all poultry owners and keepers are obliged to temporarily restrict the free movement of poultry outside and let them out only into areas that are fenced on all sides, which do not come in touch with natural or artificial water bodies, to take care that water from surface water bodies is not used for watering poultry, that poultry drinkers and feed are kept under roof or inside poultry keeping premises. Minimum restrictions introduced by the SFVS will not require additional investments from poultry keepers, however, each poultry keeper must assess the potential hazard and protect the poultry kept by him against this disease, which leads to big economic losses. Inspectors of the SFVS, at the time of inspections, will remind this requirement to poultry keepers and seek to increase their awareness through advice and recommendations instead of penalties and help them protect themselves against the avian flu virus. The withdrawal of the order will be published separately. According to information received by the SFVS, the latest case of the highly pathogenic avian flu virus was recorded on 31 January in the Racibórz region in Poland. The hazardous virus was confirmed in a non-commercial chicken farm with 66 chicken kept. Since the end of last year, the total numbers of outbreaks of avian flu recorded in Europe are: in Poland (20), Slovakia and Hungary (4 in each), Romania (2), Czechia and Ukraine (1 in each). The biggest number of outbreaks of the virus was recorded in commercial turkey farms, 2 cases in wild birds in Poland and Germany.
2020 m. January 31 d.
As from 31 January, the date of exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Withdrawal Agreement will come into force – till the end of 2020, the United Kingdom will be treated as an EU Member State, excluding that it will not be represented in the EU institutions and it will not be able to take part in decision-making.  In the transition period (till 31 December 2020), the conditions of trade in animals, food and other products between the Member States of the EU and the United Kingdom will not change, therefore, neither individual persons, nor businesses will face any difficulties. The plan is to start negotiations on further relations between the EU and the United Kingdom by March this year. It is expected that an agreement on conditions of trade in animals, food and other products will be reached at the time of the negotiations. More details on travelling with pets are available at https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad More details for businesses are available at https://www.verslilietuva.lt/analitika/brexit/
2019 m. December 31 d.
From 19 December, new hygiene requirements for small producers of plant origin foodstuffs came into force. One of the key ideas is that local producers of pickled, salted vegetables or mushrooms, juice, oil, makers, coffee, tea, spice producers will need substantially less investments for the installation of premises for production.    The requirements for premises intended for production of foodstuffs from fruit, berries, vegetables, grain, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, tea, coffee, spice plants, for the size of such premises and their installation laid down by EU legislation have been simplified. Tools and production items from wood, textile articles will be allowed to be used, however, they will have to be appropriately maintained and replaced in due time. Startups are often faced with problems caused by the requirement to produce a nutrition declaration and include it in the labelling. Small producers of plant origin food, which place their production in small quantities on the local market only, are exempt from this requirement. This means that producers of plant origin food in small quantities will not need to perform the nutritional laboratory analysis and assessment of the products produced by them and to print additional labels. Places of operation of small plant origin food business operators must be located at a distance not exceeding 100 km from retail establishments and final consumers. Just as in case of other activities related to food handling, those activities may be carried out only after an authorisation has been issued by a relevant territorial department of the SFVS according to the place of operation.  Small producers may annually produce and/or place on the local market not more than 15,600 kilogrammes or litres of production, including  2,000 kilogrammes of dried or lyophilized tea, coffee, spice plants, fruit, berries, mushrooms or vegetables. More details on the hygiene requirements are available here.

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2020 m. March 27 d.

The specialists from the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute (NFVRAI) are ready to assist the laboratories of medical institutions as the need for testing COVID-19 in the country continues to grow. Although the COVID-19 testing method is currently not accredited by the NFVRAI laboratory, there are thousands of other diagnostic tests for viruses being performed every year that are similar to COVID-19 detection. Therefore, the laboratory is now in the final stages of preparing for carrying out such tests.

 

2020 m. February 11 d.

The Government annually allocates more that 3 million Euros for the development of the national animal breeding system. The following activities are supported: recording purebred animals into breeding books, animal genetic quality analyses, production recording (e. g., assessment of animal conformation, weighing animals, etc.), participation in contests or other events aimed at promotion of farm animal breeding. Although this kind of support has been provided for a few years, there are still questions coming up to those who wish to apply for this kind of support. Breeding specialists of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) give answers to those questions.

 

2020 m. February 03 d.

By order of Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), all poultry keepers are instructed that, as from tomorrow, 4 February, poultry have to be kept in fenced backyards, pens or in closed premises to protect them against potential contacts with wild birds. This requirement applies both to poultry kept for own purposes and commercial poultry farms to protect them against the virus of avian flu, which is currently spreading in Europe.

2020 m. January 31 d.

As from 31 January, the date of exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Withdrawal Agreement will come into force – till the end of 2020, the United Kingdom will be treated as an EU Member State, excluding that it will not be represented in the EU institutions and it will not be able to take part in decision-making. 

2019 m. December 31 d.

From 19 December, new hygiene requirements for small producers of plant origin foodstuffs came into force. One of the key ideas is that local producers of pickled, salted vegetables or mushrooms, juice, oil, makers, coffee, tea, spice producers will need substantially less investments for the installation of premises for production.