Every year, meat producers lose billions from diseases of pigs and birds

They blame the reform of public administration and inefficient work on the ground.
"At us one businessman has got thousand and a half heads of a bird, hens in the next region, should realize them. The neighbors ran up and began to buy. I have a question: how can I carry a bird? Where are our veterinarians, where are the heads of our rural settlements? "- the Penza governor Ivan Belozertsev was amazed: in the Penza region, bird flu entered the enterprises of two large producers - Cherkizovo and Damate. The woman was fined 3,500 rubles., The amount incommensurable with the losses, which in case of an outbreak of influenza will be borne by the farms and the company.

Agroholdings call the situation with diseases of pigs and birds catastrophic and spend billions of rubles on biosafety - and it does not get better. Diseases prevent them from exporting excess meat. For example, Asian countries do not want to start importing pork from Russia - precisely because of the African swine fever (ASF).

No system

In the early 2000s, the administrative reform took place: the regions received both great powers and obligations to finance the implementation of these powers, recalls the head of the executive committee of the National Meat Association Sergei Yushin: in particular, since 2004, the head of the region is responsible for the veterinary situation in the region. There was a large, well-coordinated system, it was shattered into small, unequal in personnel and material services, unaccountable to the center, Rosselkhoznadzor, he complains. The services of different regions practically do not interact with each other.

After the reform, veterinary services appeared in the security services (FSIN, FSB, FSO, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Rosgvardia), they also do not submit to the Rosselkhoznadzor. "85 regional veterinary services are 85 centers for decision-making and execution, they are guided first of all by the interests of the region, as they understand them," says Dmitry Sergeev, representative of Miratorg. Hence, inefficiency, veterinary separatism, attempts to silence the severity of problems, ignoring federal programs approved at the federal level, he lists.

Abnormal situation

The situation when contaminated meat hits the shelves is abnormal, says Yulia Melano, a representative of Rosselkhoznadzor: the presence of diseases should be monitored by veterinarians at the enterprise. If the contaminated products go to other regions, she continues, it is unclear where it was not properly tested. The company itself may not provide control, like the veterinary service, or detect the virus did not allow the level of the laboratory - a total of one: a veterinary certificate with an inauthentic conclusion was issued, concludes Melano.

It is a mistake to think that every batch of finished products is checked in the laboratory, says a person close to one of the victims of agro-holdings diseases: increased laboratory control is connected when there is information about an outbreak of disease on the farm. While the incubation period, the disease is not revealed, the animals go to slaughter, and the virus can penetrate even to the counters. On 100% of this no one is insured, the interlocutor of "Vedomosti" sums up.

Who is guilty

Responsibility for the spread of diseases is borne by the regional veterinary services, insists Melano. The Agriculture Ministry of the Penza region does not have a clear answer if a virus has appeared in the region, but officials are going to find out how unsafe products have received a certificate and left the region, said Minister Andrei Burlakov, and said that the ministry has appealed to the competent authorities to establish where the virus came from. According to the minister, a live bird was imported from the territory of the Lipetsk region.

The source of recent bird infestations in the Kursk, Lipetsk and Penza regions was young from private breeding farms, says Albert Davleev, President of Agrifood Strategies: it is sold from cars for private households, there is practically no veterinary control, only one carrier of the virus is sufficient to infect the others. The population often does not know the symptoms of the disease, the owners throw out the fallen bird and create a hotbed of infection. And the ability of veterinary services to monitor the health of poultry is limited, he said. The general director of "Eurodon" Vadim Vaneev assumed a sabotage at his enterprise in 2017.

Egoism of the regions

Melano believes that in regions where there is a large meat production, veterinary services are characterized by economic egoism: they are not interested in working openly: if it becomes known about the outbreak, deliveries to other regions or for export will have to be stopped.

Her opinion is confirmed by a person close to a large agro-holding: there was a threat that the virus will come from the fallen wild animals, and the company applied to the regional service, and she did not rush to quarantine. But only quarantine can prevent the spread of the disease! Hiding disease, they are trying to protect regional producers, he said.

Three regional officials disagree with these arguments. "If we ignore the problem, delay the decision, business losses will be much greater. It is unprofitable for regions, "says one of them. The Rosselkhoznadzor itself often does not seek mutual understanding with local services, another official said.

Earnings for the regions

How and how much funds to allocate to veterinary medicine, the region began to decide after the reform on its own, argues Yushin: how to react when a virus or a disease is already detected, how to monitor, train specialists. Most of the financial burden eventually came to business: for all veterinary services, enterprises pay to state veterinarians and laboratories, which, in fact, monopolized the market. Most of the regional veterinary medicine budget began to be formed from fees: fees for research, advice, issuance of documents. Veterinary services to a lesser extent began to fulfill veterinary tasks - disease prevention, monitoring, control over the turnover of products, etc. And inspections often became fictitious.

Paid veterinary services brought the budgets of the regions in 2017, 17 billion rubles., According to Rosstat. For example, the Moscow region has earned more than 1 billion rubles., And in the budget for 2018 to provide epizootic and veterinary-sanitary well-being of the Moscow region allocated 545 million rubles.

In different regions the cost of veterinary services is different, judging by the price lists on the websites of state veterinary services and laboratories. Entrepreneurs often complained about a lot of pseudo-services and lack of real control, Yushin says: that is, the business pays money, but can not be sure of product safety and fair competition.

Each region decides how to prevent disease, Yushin continues, so epizootic control has become so weak as the weakest region in this regard is weak. "It does not matter that in the Belgorod region, which accounts for 20% of Russian pork production, the local service is active and well funded. If the service in the neighboring regions is weak, the Belgorod region is under constant threat, "he said. This was shown in the situation in 2017 when the ASF virus was detected there.

The main source of the virus is wild boars, the Belgorod veterinary department official assured, the problem is solved by regulating their numbers.

Federal control

On March 30, President Putin gave two instructions: to give the Rosselkhoznadzor authority in veterinary medicine in the regions; to work out the transfer from regional to federal level of authority in veterinary supervision. At the meeting in the government it was decided to fulfill both instructions by one federal law, says the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture: it will list the powers for veterinary supervision, which the regions are transferring to the federal level. The authorities will be delegated to the regions with the ability to monitor their implementation.

Significant changes in the work of regional services are not planned, warns Melano, but their activities can be monitored and verified. The authorities do not intend to select the service, she says.

Electronic supervision

The electronic veterinary certification in the system "Mercury" (administrator - Rosselkhoznadzor) will improve the situation, Melano said. Since July 1, it has become mandatory for all raw materials and for a portion of finished products of animal origin. The information about the diseases is available in the system, says Melano, and a specific laboratory assistant should be indicated who signed the conclusion that no virus was detected, the types of studies, the way they are conducted, etc. are listed.

The system will allow to track the movement of products and, if the disease is detected, promptly remove the infected lot from the turnover. The situation will become more controlled, Melano hopes. A person close to a large agricultural holding company agrees with her: the information in the system will not allow the veterinarian to make a fictitious procedure and ensure the traceability of the products.

"Mercury" will provide a reliable picture of the movement of animals and cargo, the likelihood of the spread of animal diseases will be minimized, and Sergeyev from Miratorg also counts. In the system, a chain of electronic documents is built around which you can learn everything about the product. "This will significantly reduce the turnover in the black and gray meat market, increase the attractiveness of the industry to launch new projects and attract investment, expand export opportunities," Sergeyev hopes.