News

2022 m. May 09 d.
The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, acting on a proposal from the European Commission, have approved the nomination of Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), to the Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Deividas Kliučinskas, Deputy Director of SFVS, has been appointed as the alternate representative of Lithuania. “Representing Lithuania in such a format is not only an honour, but also a great responsibility. I have no doubt that this will be an interesting and extraordinary experience, as I will have the opportunity to make decisions and contribute to the planning and sustainable use of the EFSA’s, a European institution’s, budget in addition to planning a long-term strategy and risk communication. I will also be responsible for the transparency of EFSA’s procedures and its decision-making,” said Mantas Staškevičius, Director of SFVS. According to the Head of SFVS, the new role will also allow to engage in interactive discussions through a wide network of partners, to develop a dialogue with the scientific community, experts from other EU countries, representatives of business and civil society to foster new initiatives, projects and partnerships, which is expected from these new activities. The Transparency Regulation EU 2019/1381, which entered into force in the European Union on 27 March 2021, laid down general objectives and principles for transparent and sustainable risk assessment in the food chain in the European Union. In order to achieve these objectives, candidates for the EFSA Management Board were required to meet the highest standards of competence and have extensive experience in the field of food chain. Candidates were required to have experience and expertise not only in the fields of food chain law and policy, including risk assessment, but also in management, administrative, financial and legal matters. A separate selection criterion is the highest standards of transparency, i.e., acting independently in the public interest. The new EFSA Management Board will be composed of representatives of all Member States, members of the European Parliament and of the Commission, as well as representatives of civil society and industry organisations, which have been selected and approved by the EU institutions. The EFSA Management Board will meet 3 times a year, the first meeting being scheduled for 5-6 October this year. More details: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/about/governance
2022 m. May 02 d.
The pandemic restrictions that have been gradually lifted at the beginning of last year influenced the increase in Lithuania’s exports by almost a quarter. However, the very unexpected events that began in 2022 led to a 25% fall. According to the data of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), in the first months of this year, just over 56,000 tonnes of Lithuanian animal products were exported, which is almost 19,000 tonnes less than last year.  "We see a decrease in exports in the first quarter. It could have been expected that a chain reaction of events that shook the world would affect businesses. Nevertheless, despite the overall decline, some sectors have not only maintained but also increased their export volumes. More production has already been exported by meat producers this year, and as usual, Lithuanian dairy products steadily stay at the top of the export curve. Lithuanian producers have repeatedly shown they are able to adapt quickly to a wide range of changing conditions. We hope the situation will gradually stabilise and we will see a positive change in the next quarter", — Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the SFVS, reviewed the data for the first quarter of 2022. Fresh meat exports showed the strongest growth at the beginning of this year. In the first months of 2022, fresh meat exports accounted for 400 tonnes more than in the same period of the previous year (2,900 tonnes).  The highest amount, i.e., almost 3,000 tonnes of poultry, was exported and transported by producers to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. More than 300 tonnes of beef were exported, mainly to Georgia, Norway, and more than 80 tonnes of Lithuanian beef reached Ukraine. Pork exports also increased, with 100 tonnes more than last year. In the first months of this year, Lithuanian meat products went mainly to Japan (more than 120 tonnes shipped). The USA also remained an important market for meat products. In dairy exports, Lithuanian cheeses show the highest and most stable figures. More than 8,000 tonnes of these products were exported at the beginning of the year – 3,000 tonnes more than last year. Malaysia, Israel, South Korea, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia were the main importers of Lithuanian dairy products. Over 130 tonnes of egg products were exported to third countries during the first three months of the year, almost twice as much as last year. Japan remains the main market for egg products. "We are working intensively to open even more new markets for Lithuania. I hope that authorisations to export milk, beef, fishery and egg products to the Taiwanese market should be approved soon. We have also recently harmonised permits for poultry and egg products to be exported to Singapore. However, the opening of new markets, as well as the procedures for renewing already harmonised certificates, remain one of the most important factors contributing to the stabilisation of exports in times of crisis", — said Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the SFVS. Exports of culinary products, as in previous year, show a slight but stable growth, this year more than 400 tonnes have already been shipped. Nonetheless, the military action in Ukraine has disrupted one of the main supply chains for fishery products. So far, almost 90 % of all fishery products exported from Lithuania went to Ukraine. At the beginning of last year, exports of fishery products to Ukraine amounted to almost 40,000 tonnes, and this year a little more than 18,000 tonnes were shipped. In response to the situation, Lithuanian producers are trying to redirect their exports of fishery products to other markets. With almost 2,500 tonnes exported, this year exports to Moldova amounted to 200 tonnes more of fishery products than last year. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vietnam, the USA, Uzbekistan and Canada also imported fish products.   
2022 m. March 25 d.
As refugees from war-torn Ukraine are fleeing into the European Union (EU), many face a lot of issues related to the transport of their pets. The State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about  transport of pets and the requirements for their entry into Lithuania. Can I bring animals from Ukraine? Yes, you can. However, all 27 EU Member States have said that priority is given to Ukrainian refugees with their pets (such as dogs, cats or ferrets) rather than to movement of stray animals. To make the entry for pets easier, a simplified border crossing procedure with the EU is applied. In order to help, EU countries unanimously and exceptionally admit Ukrainians and nationals of other countries fleeing the war to the EU with their pets that are neither microchipped, nor vaccinated against rabies or have no rabies antibody titer and have not been issued with a veterinary certificate. Veterinarians working at the border with Ukraine ensure that pets with no microchip get it implanted and are vaccinated against rabies upon arrival. Nevertheless, some pets still come to the EU unvaccinated against rabies and therefore Lithuanian veterinarians offer this service free of charge.  In cases when a pet animal is intended for transfer or sale to another owner, or when more than five animals are moved, there are no exemptions and the following requirements apply: the animal must be issued with a veterinary certificate certifying that it has been chipped, is vaccinated against rabies, and that it has undergone a blood test for rabies antibodies.  EU Member States do not exempt animals transported from animal care facilities and for transported stray animals. If an animal from Ukraine is already in Lithuania — what should I take care of and what are the requirements? The willingness of humans to help animals is understandable, but it must be done responsibly and cautiously, first and foremost to ensure the safety of pets and to avoid the risk of spreading rabies. Upon arrival, the pet (dog, cat or ferret) must be chipped and vaccinated against rabies and you must notify the SFVS by e-mail at ukrainepets@vmvt.lt or by phone +370 800 40403. You can also contact the SFVS territorial departments which work closely with municipalities, heads of refugee centres and which directly contact the incoming refugees.  The SFVS registry collects and stores information on the arriving pets, their vaccination and microchip, the owner and the pet's place of quarantine, as well as the need for any veterinary assistance.  As long as the situation remains unsetting and the number of animals coming from Ukraine keeps increasing every day, it is essential that all information on incoming pets reaches the SFVS immediately so that the resources available for the provision of veterinary assistance could be assessed or, if necessary, a place to quarantine the animal could be found quickly. What are the potential threats posed by animals arriving from Ukraine, including those left without their owners?  The main concern felt across the EU is a high risk of rabies outbreaks. The risk of rabies and other contagious diseases is very serious, and it is important to spot and assess the potential consequences for public and animal health. Keep in mind that rabies is not only deadly for animals but also for humans. It has been three years since neither domestic nor wild animals have been infected with rabies in Lithuania. This has taken 20 years of consistent and meticulous work and millions of euros in systematic vaccination of wild and domestic animals. In Ukraine, around 800,000 people get bitten by animals every year, including fatal cases. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 1,050 cases of rabies in domestic animals were confirmed in Ukraine in 2021, and according to information provided by our peer veterinarians working in Kyiv, 5-7 animals with signs of rabies are brought to them daily.  Can I keep an animal from Ukraine at home or do I need to find a special place for it? If this is not possible, the animal may be isolated/ quarantined in an animal care facility. In such case you need to notify us by e-mail ukrainepets@vmvt.lt, and the inspectors of the nearest territorial SFVS department will contact you and help you with finding a care facility once they have received the request for assistance.  What should I do if I arrive in Lithuania with an animal that has been vaccinated at the border and has not yet passed the quarantine period (21 days during which immunity builds up)? First, you need to inform us at ukrainepets@vmvt.lt. After vaccination, the pet must be kept separately from other animals not vaccinated against rabies for 21 days until it has developed sufficient immunity against rabies. If you notice any abnormalities in the pet’s health, contact your veterinarian immediately. What are the symptoms of an animal with rabies?  Rabies is an acute viral disease characterised by inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, severe disorders of the nervous system. Any animal or human affected by this disease can die.  Pets can be staggering, anxious or aggressive, or, on the contrary, very affectionate. Animals get more sensitive to light, sound and touch, they develop fear of water, etc. Animals with rabies drool due to pharyngeal paralysis. Their voice changes. Changes in animal’s gait appear and muscle convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis develop. Apart from rabies, what other diseases can stray animals easily contract?  The medical history of pets (dogs, cats) left without care and without owners is unknown. They are often infected with internal (echinococcus, roundworms) and external (flea, lice) parasites and other pathogens (toxoplasmosis, toxocariasis). Infection with fungi or scabies mites may also occur. Diseases common in stray cats include infectious anaemia, plague, rhinotracheitis; In dogs: canine distemper, leptospirosis, parvovirus. Parasites and fungi are dangerous to humans, while other diseases pose risks to other animals of the same species. We recommend that you contact a private veterinarian for an assessment of your pet's health, and that you apply the prescribed treatment and preventive measures.  Where can I find more information on assistance to Ukrainian animals? Please note that more relevant information can be found on the SFVS website at https://vmvt.lt/information_for_people_arriving_from_Ukraine_with_animals. 
2022 m. February 25 d.
In view of the situation developing in Ukraine and possible entrance of war refugees the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) simplifies entry of pet animals: dogs, cats, or ferrets. Pets arriving with their owners, if necessary, will be vaccinated against rabies, microchipped, and their isolation will be facilitated. All the information regading pets from Ukraine will be provided via E-mail ukrainepets@vmvt.lt “We cannot be unconcerned about the people running from this horrible situation. Many of Ukrainians will be traveling with their beloved pets, so we will help to find them the safest shelter.  This is a big challenge firstly for Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, the countries that form the external EU border with Ukraine, which are primarily responsible for the entry of pets into the EU. We are taking some necessary measures in Lithuania because Ukrainian war refugees, could also enter our country not only from the EU countries, so we need to ensure that entrance of the pets would be safe and they will not bring rabies,” – told the director of the SFVS Mantas Staškevičius. According to the director, those Ukrainian citizens whose pets are properly marked, vaccinated, have a valid animal passport, and meet all the requirements for bringing pets into the EU can cross the state border in the usual way. However, animals coming from Ukraine that are not microchipped or have not been vaccinated against rabies will be marked and vaccinated on the spot, and their isolation conditions will be facilitated. “In constant consultation with the EU institutions, we make the decisions that are necessary to respond to the current situation and to ensure the control of infectious diseases. By cooperating in an agreed and coordinated manner, we aim to solve the problems that arise quickly and efficiently, and to ensure the safety and health of the people and pet animals. We inform the public about the changes,” – told M. Staškevičius. At the same time, the director of the SFVS notes that these changes to the import procedures of pet animals into the EU apply exclusively to Ukrainian citizens and not to legal entities such as sellers or breeders, and the arrangements for the commercial import procedures of pet animals into the EU thus far remain unchanged. For more details and updates check on special SFVS section
2022 m. February 23 d.
On the 22nd of February 2022, Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Radu Musteata, Director General of the National Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Moldova (ANSA). "The Twinning project funded by the European Union (EU) will end on 1 September, however, we do not intend to end our cooperation with Moldova. On the basis of the MOU signed today, we will continue to work together in order to ensure that the country moves towards the integration into the EU. Our specialists have already helped the Moldovan company to obtain the first export permit to the EU. We are glad that with our knowledge and experience we can contribute to the export of Moldovan products to the EU countries. While assessing the assistance and professionalism of our experts and seeing obvious results, the ANSA colleagues expressed their desire to continue working with the specialists of our country, and this is how the idea of ​​signing the MOU was born”, – said the SFVS Director Mantas Staškevičius about the signed cooperation. The cooperation with the ANSA dates back to 2006. The specialists of the SFVS are currently implementing the 3rd EU Twinning project together with colleagues from the Austrian “Agrarmarkt“ (AMA) and the Polish Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture (ARMA). This is a very large-scale programme for improving and strengthening agriculture, rural development and food safety, with the main priority to open up the opportunities for the export of animal products to the EU, especially poultry, eggs and composite products. The expert assistance has already yielded tangible results. Following the implementation of expert recommendations, the first Moldovan ice cream company has been included in the list of the companies that can export to the EU countries. The EU's doors for the export of Moldovan poultry and eggs should be open soon. The cooperation established by the MOU today in the capital of Moldova will continue to include the implementation of the state control concept "from farm to fork". The inter-institutional document will ensure a further mutual exchange of expert assistance in the fields of food safety, animal disease surveillance and prevention as well as control, and laboratory research.

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2015 y. March 06 d.
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2022 m. May 09 d.

The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, acting on a proposal from the European Commission, have approved the nomination of Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), to the Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Deividas Kliučinskas, Deputy Director of SFVS, has been appointed as the alternate representative of Lithuania.

2022 m. May 02 d.

The pandemic restrictions that have been gradually lifted at the beginning of last year influenced the increase in Lithuania’s exports by almost a quarter. However, the very unexpected events that began in 2022 led to a 25% fall. According to the data of the State Food and Veterinary Service, in the first months of this year, just over 56,000 tonnes of Lithuanian animal products were exported, which is almost 19,000 tonnes less than last year. 

2022 m. March 25 d.

As refugees from war-torn Ukraine are fleeing into the European Union, many face a lot of issues related to the transport of their pets. The State Food and Veterinary Service provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about  transport of pets and the requirements for their entry into Lithuania.

2022 m. February 25 d.

In view of the situation developing in Ukraine and possible entrance of war refugees the State Food and Veterinary Service simplifies entry of pet animals: dogs, cats, or ferrets. Pets arriving with their owners, if necessary, will be vaccinated against rabies, microchipped, and their isolation will be facilitated. All the information regading pets from Ukraine will be provided via E-mail ukrainepets@vmvt.lt

2022 m. February 23 d.

On the 22nd of February 2022, Mantas Staškevičius, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service, has signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Radu Musteata, Director General of the National Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Moldova.