Russia’s new restrictions on the feed additive ractopamine have reduced the number of Canadian plants eligible for exporting to Russia from about 60 to 19. The revised list includes 15 pork plants, three beef and veal plants and one plant that processes pork and beef, reports The Canadian Press. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency stated that a number of storage facilities are also able to export to Russia.

In December, Russia announced it was banning any Canadian meats that contain the additive. Its new guidelines now only permit meat imports that are born from ractopamine-free animals and slaughtered at plants that do not use the additive.

Russia is Canada's third-largest market for Canadian pork, with imports worth about $500 million last year.

Martin Charron, vice-president of Canadian Pork International, says officials from both governments are in discussions about getting more plants approved to export to Russia again. Charron says the list, which goes into effect on April 17, may be based on outdated information, as there are ractopamine-free plants that are not on the export list. The marketing and promotion agency says Russian officials have not inspected Canadian plants for at least two years.

The CFIA says talks between the two governments are ongoing.

"The government of Canada will continue to work with the Russian authorities in negotiating continued access for Canadian meat products," the agency said in an emailed statement.

Source: CTV News, The Canadian Press