Sanctions and Policies Strain Russian Poultry Industry’s Access to Veterinary Pharmaceuticals

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    Sanctions and controversial government policies are creating significant obstacles for the Russian poultry industry, especially concerning the import of essential veterinary pharmaceuticals. According to market participants, this issue is already beginning to impact farms.

    Poultry farmers in Russia are particularly worried about the decreasing availability of imported veterinary pharmaceuticals, as reported by the local branch of Forbes. Currently, Russia is only 30% self-sufficient in poultry vaccines, according to the Agricultural Ministry, which aims to increase this to approximately 47% by 2030, though achieving this goal will require considerable investment.

    In Russia, there are 297 imported and 319 domestic veterinary vaccines registered, with 117 and 73 respectively used for poultry farming, as estimated by independent poultry industry analyst Eduard Mailyan. Out of the 50 most popular types of vaccines used in poultry farming, domestic companies only fully meet the industry’s demand for 11 of them.

    The situation is set to worsen as new regulations coming into force on 1 September will require all foreign manufacturers of immunobiological products to undergo certification for compliance with Russian good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards and to provide their vaccine strains for deposit in Russia. Mailyan pointed out that this requirement is akin to disclosing trade secrets, as the transferred material could enable local production of the vaccine without the original company’s involvement.

    Sanctions have further complicated the situation, prompting some of the largest global vaccine suppliers, such as Intervet/MSD, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim/Merial, and Elanco/LAH/Avipro, to exit the Russian market. Those that remain, like Hipra and CevaSantéAnimale, face increased difficulties in importing vaccines.

    The shortage of effective vaccines is already evident, which could reduce production efficiency in the poultry sector. For instance, there is a growing scarcity of vaccines against Newcastle disease, which may lead to more frequent disease outbreaks, higher mortality rates, and a decline in poultry production, causing significant economic repercussions.

    The press office of Cherkizovo commented on the dwindling availability of imported vaccines and the inability of domestic suppliers to meet the rising demand due to limited production capacity. Several poultry companies expressed to Forbes that the vaccine shortage issue is becoming increasingly urgent. In response, Russian poultry farmers are resorting to parallel imports through third countries, but this raises concerns about vaccine safety, as these grey market routes are less reliable than official channels.