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Ukraine bans pig imports from Mexico, Canada, U.S.


KIEV, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - The deputy head of Ukraine's state veterinary committee said on Monday the country had banned the import of live pigs and pork from Mexico, Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand as fears grew of a swine flu pandemic.

He said the ban concerned all products imported from these states since April 21.

"Such shipments will not be received or unloaded on Ukrainian territory," Yuriy Satvary said.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on Monday a special group had been established in the former Soviet republic to study issues connected with swine flu. There have so far been no reported cases in Ukraine.

The virus is suspected to have killed over a hundred people in Mexico, although only 20 cases have been confirmed. Over a 1,000 people have been infected with the virus in the Latin American country.

Forty cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the United States and six in Canada, although there have been no fatalities. The United States has declared a public health emergency. One case of swine flu has also been confirmed in Spain. A number of cases of possible swine fever have also been reported in the U.K.

World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan warned on Sunday that the outbreak had "pandemic potential", and urged governments to improve measures to monitor the virus.

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