Russia bans British pork imports after foot-and-mouth outbreak

Russia banned imports of pork and pigs from Britain in response to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, officials said Monday.

The ban, effective immediately, applies to live pigs and wild cloven-hoofed animals as well as their meat, Russia's veterinary watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, said in a statement released to the media. It added that earlier imposed restrictions on other livestock imports from Britain have remained in force.

Britain has banned exports of livestock, meat and milk and halted the movement of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs nationwide to prevent the spread of the virus.

Foot-and-mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals including cows, sheep, pigs and goats, but does not typically affect humans.

The United States, Japan, New Zealand and other nations also have banned British pigs and pork products in response to last week's outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

The outbreak is the first known case of the disease in Britain since 2001, when a foot-and-mouth epidemic started with a pig herd in northern England, spread to cows and sheep and eventually led to the slaughter of 7 million head of livestock.