Further restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in Ukraine create the risk of introducing additional measures that will complicate the work of agricultural producers.
Lawyer of ESQUIRES law firm Viktor Zalotin expressed his opinion on Channel 24.
Currently, it is forbidden to work only for those enterprises and organizations whose activity involves the reception of visitors: catering (restaurants, cafes, etc.), shopping and entertainment centers, other establishments of entertainment, fitness centers, cultural establishments, commercial and domestic services. The activities of the agroindustrial complex are not stopped in order to avoid the food crisis.
However, according to the lawyer, the introduction of an emergency situation is only a prerequisite for imposing further restrictions on quarantine. Some of them may be related to the Ukrainian agro-industrial complex. Therefore, there is a risk of introducing of additional measures that will complicate the work of agricultural producers.
The legislation, according to Zalotin, provides the introduction of the following measures, depending on the circumstances that may arise.
1. In accordance with Article 37 of the Civil Security Code of Ukraine, biological protection of populations, animals and plants includes:
- timely identification of the factors and cere of biological contamination, its localization and elimination;
prediction of the scale and consequences of biological contamination, development and implementation of timely measures;
- restrictive anti-epidemic measures, observations and quarantine;
- disinfection activities in the area of contamination, desinfactin of economic entities, animals and sanitary treatment of the population;
- other biological protection measures, depending on the situation.
The biological protection of populations, animals and plants additionaly includes the establishment of anti-epidemic, anti-epizootic and anti-epiphytotic regimens and their observance by economic enteties.
2. The provisions on the functional subsystem of protection of agricultural animals and plants of the unified state system of prevention and response to emergencies of anthropogenic and natural character indicate that depending on the scale and peculiarities of the emergency, that is predicted or emerged, the authorized bodies can establish one of the following regimes:
- state of readiness – with a significant deterioration of industrial, chemical, biological (bacteriological) condition;
- the regime of emergency activity is introduced in Ukraine or in separate territories in accordance with the procedure established by the Constitution and the Law on Emergency.
3. Also, in connection with quarantine, the measures provided for in Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring Sanitary and Epidemic Well-Being of the Population” may be intensified. In particular, laboratory tests for free seizure of samples, forcible removal from work of infected workers or workers who have contact with infected persons.
4. Specific rules are applied to animals and livestock producers. The Law of Ukraine “On protection of the population from infectious diseases” specifies that the protection of the population from infectious diseases, common for animals and humans (zoanthroponosis infections), is provided by carrying out veterinary and sanitary, anti-epizootic, prophylactic and anti-epidemic measures during production, sales of livestock products, compliance with all economic entities requirements of veterinary, sanitary-hygienic and sanitary-anti-epidemic rules and regulations, as well as by the control of local authorities in the executive power and bodies of local self-government for their observance.
Legal entities, regardless of ownership form, provide preventive disinfection activities in residential, industrial and other premises and on their lands. They may also carry out preventive medical examinations.
The law also obligates to carry disinfection activities in places where infected persons were located.
If the risk of carrying of the virus by animals is confirmed, the following measures will be introduced under the Law “On Veterinary Medicine”:
- conducting of examination and isolation of infected animals;
- isolation of sick animals and closure of facilities, where the the disease was detected;
- prohibition or restriction of the movement of animals;
- prohibition of movement outside of the infected capacities (objects) of any goods, animal care products, related objects and pus;
- slaughter of animals;
- implementation of special veterinary and sanitary measures in the infected, buffer and observation zones;
- a ban on organizing fairs, markets, exhibitions, auctions, public or other events involving animals;
- prohibition or restriction of animal tupping;
- vaccination, clinical examinations and treatment of animals;
- restricting the movement of persons who have been in contact with infected animals and animals that are suspected to be infected, or with other goods or manure from infected animals;
- closing and blocking of ways to infected areas;
- disinfection, deratization, disinsection of livestock buildings, cattle pens, yards, watering holes and other places where infected animals were located, as well as related objects in contact with them.
5. The manufacturers of plant products shell not miss the risk of introducing of additional measures in connection with quarantine In particular, according to the Law “On Plant Quarantine”, producers can be oblige:
- to provide state phytosanitary inspectors with access to the objects of regulation at any stage of production or processing for inspection, verification of documentation and sampling from regulatory facilities to recognize their phytosanitary condition;
- facilitate quarantine measures in quarantine and adjacent areas in case the quarantine organisms are detected.
The list of regulated pests does not contain coronavirus, so there are no grounds for enhanced inspections of plant products so far.
6. In accordance with the regulation on state sanitary and epidemiological surveillance, the visit of officials to the state sanitary and epidemiological service of the Ministry of Health is expected.
Agricultural producers cannot influence on the possible spread and mutation of the virus, as well as on the government decisions. However, to minimize the negative impact of quarantine on production its necessary to:
- Preventively ensure the safety of workers and production;
- Use the benefits provided by the state;
- Initiate reductions in the amount of rental payment for land or industrial premises;
- To think over marketing actions to increase in volumes of sales of products;
- If possible, reprofile production to the current needs of the population.