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Irish farmers call for ASF import ban

13th Sep 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has called on the Government to impose an immediate ban on any pork imports from countries affected by African Swine Fever (ASF) in their commercial herd.

This follows reports that a meat processor is involved in importing pork from Poland, where ASF is currently spreading in the commercial pig herd.

With the virus present in a number of eastern European and Asian countries, IFA pigs and pigmeat chairman Tom Hogan said that it was 'completely reckless' that any processor would import pork into Ireland from a country affected by ASF, and risk jeopardising the health status of our national pig herd.

"The reputational damage that could potentially be caused to our important international export markets by such activity would be catastrophic. ASF can also be carried by pork, and the risk associated with this is unimaginable," he said.

He called on all processors of pork to confirm that they do not import pork from Poland or any other ASF affected countries.

"Ireland is an exporter of the highest quality Bord Bia approved pork and bacon, and any importation of product into Ireland is pure opportunism at the best of times, but it is utterly reckless to the entire pig and pork sector under the heightened ASF risk situation," he added.

He called on the Department of Agriculture to increase checks on any imported meat products into the country and increase vigilance and awareness of the potential threat of introducing ASF into the country.

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