Sukhoi Su 24 war plane taking off© Xinhua News Agency/REX Shutterstock

Russia has begun targeting poultrymeat imports from Turkey following the recent downing of a Russian fighter plane on the Syrian/Turkish border.

Russia’s veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor has stopped the import of several batches of poultrymeat from Turkey, totalling 162t, claiming the products contained listeria.

Alexander Tkachev, Russian minister of agriculture, said enhanced monitoring of food supplies from Turkey, along with additional border checks, had been introduced. “The government has charged Rosselkhoznadzor with implementing strict controls on the delivery of agricultural products and food from Turkey,” he said.

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Mr Tkachev added that results from inspections of meat and other food products from Turkey had shown 15% of all deliveries did not pass border controls and would be returned to the exporters, reported Global Meat News.

The action is a blow to the Turkish poultrymeat sector that, ironically, had benefited last year from Russian bans on EU products.

Total poultrymeat exports to Russia from Turkey in the first nine months of 2014 totalled 17,000t, compared with just 4,000t in the same period the previous year.

Turkish poultrymeat exports globally have suffered this year with sales down by 50% due to concerns about potential bird flu cases and escalating terrorism fears.

Turkey produces 2m tonnes of poultrymeat each year, with about 20% exported across the globe.