U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell praised the decision by the Administration and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to lift the ban on exporting U.S. poultry to Russia. Since January of this year, Russia had closed its market to U.S. poultry exports on grounds that are not supported by sound science.
Earlier today, Senator McConnell met with President Medvedev in the U.S. Capitol. Following the meeting, McConnell said: "This is great news for the thousands of Kentuckians whose livelihoods depend on the poultry industry," McConnell said. "Our poultry farmers produce what is recognized as the highest quality, safest, most affordable and most abundant food supply in the world, and I am pleased that this ban has been lifted."
Poultry is a $900 million cash commodity in Kentucky and this figure does not even take into account the full economic impact and jobs created by poultry production up and down the chain. Over the last three years, Kentucky exported $150 million in poultry to Russia. Kentucky has 7,000 poultry industry employees and around 800 growers in 42 of its counties.