At the beginning of this year, the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) announced that, thanks to the latest diplomatic effort of the Romanian Government, the Iranian market has been reopened for livestock export (sheep and cattle).
Romania and Iran – new possibilities for a long lasting collaboration
The MADR claims that in January 2019 the Standard Export Certificate has been approved between the National Sanitary Veterinary Authority for Food Safety of Romania (ANSVSA) and the Iran Veterinary Organization (IVO). As a result, the exports of livestock from Romania to Iran were reopened.
Our company welcomes this success, in the context of a very high demand of sheep and cattle meat from the Republic of Iran (which is steadily increasing), in an area where our country has ample possibilities.
The interest of Iranian people for sheep meat in (from) Romania has led to more simplified import conditions in the European member states. Moreover, the Iranian authorities have confirmed that they are considering removing other sanitary restrictions, which currently lead to restrictions on EU exports such as the requirement that the carcasses should come from cattle and sheep that are born, raised and slaughtered in the same EU member state and the rule that the meat must come from animals slaughtered under a certain age.
A restriction that is certainly still valid refers to the meat that has to come from animals sacrificed only according to the Halal specific religious ritual.
The Halal slaughter ritual of lambs – an imperative condition for Iranian export
Speaking of animals’ sacrifice, one of the highest requirements that Iran imposes on carcass exports refers to the method of slaughtering the lambs. Particularly, in Iran, the Halal represents a religious method of sacrificing all animals based on Islamic laws.
In our abattoirs (that are authorised by ANSVSA and EU competent regulators) the lambs are slaughter by a specific Muslim (authorised with a Halal certification given by the Great Mufti’s Office of Muslim Community of Romania). The slaughter act must be performed in the appropriate ritual manner, cutting the animal’s throat with a sharp knife in a single swipe. Then, the blood must be drained out of the carcass.
Having said that, given the fact that our abattoirs are authorised for the Halal slaughter ritual and benefiting from the news of reopening the trade with Iran, we are very excited about the opportunity of resuming the economic relations with a country from which we have the highest demand.
According to the EU statistic office, Romania is the 3rd largest sheep owner country in Europe, after the United Kingdom and Spain, with over 9,8 million head of ewes.
Of all the breeds raised at our farm in Cluj Napoca County, Tsurcana is one of the most popular, otherwise known as „The queen of the mountains”, because it can offer mixt meat, milk and wool. For all these reasons and as a consequence of the high demand, Tsurcana sheep breed is the backbone of our livestock business.
Regarding other breeds, besides Tsurcana, the most popular are Tsigai sheep and Karakul. Regarding the cattle, the most popular and sought breeds for export are Simmental, Blue Belgium, Angus, Limousine and Charolais.
As we said before, we are more than excited about this opportunity to collaborate with Iran for livestock and carcass export. Consequently, we are convinced that this collaboration will bring many benefits to both parties.