Russia restricts Australian beef imports due to presence of stimulant

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia is restricting imports of Australian beef due to the presence of the stimulant Trenbolone, the state veterinary and phytosanitary service (VPSS) said on Tuesday.

Limits on chilled beef from Australia were imposed on March 31, while frozen beef imports will be restricted from April 7, VPSS spokesman Alexei Alekseenko told Reuters.

"Basically this will mean restrictions on all (beef) imports (from Australia)," Alekseenko said, adding that Russia would accept supplies which were already on their way.

Alekseenko did not provide further details on the restrictions, nor on how long they might last.

Australia is the world's third-largest beef exporter after the United States and Brazil.

Russia currently does not accept the majority of meat imports from the United States and the European Union, which have imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

Russia is looking to Asia to compensate for a decrease in meat supplies from the United States, European Union and Australia. It may allow Chinese pork and Indian buffalo meat imports, VPSS said in March.

Trenbolone is a growth stimulant prohibited by Russia.