IFA Pigs and Pigmeat Chairman Tom Hogan has called on all processors of pork to confirm that they do not import pork from Poland or any other ASF affected countries.
He stated that "there should be an immediate ban on any pork imports from countries affected by ASF in their commercial herd following reports that a meat processor is involved in importing pork from Poland, a country that is affected by African Swine Fever (ASF)”.
“ASF is a disease which does not affect humans, but has been devasting to the pig herds of affected countries in eastern European and in Asia in recent months.”
Hogan believes that it was “completely reckless that any processor would partake in importing pork into Ireland from a country affected by ASF, and risk jeopardising the health status of our national pig herd”.
Hogan stressed that reputational damage that could potentially be caused to Ireland's important international export markets by such activity would be “catastrophic”.
“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 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.