The IFA Pigs and Pigmeat chairman Tom Hogan made the appeal following reports that an Irish meat processor had imported pork from Poland which is one of the countries with a confirmed case of ASF.
Hogan said 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”.
“The reputational damage that could potentially be caused to our important international export markets by such activity would be catastrophic,” he said. “ASF can also be carried by pork, and the risk associated with this is unimaginable.”
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.”
Hogan also 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.
In July, meat containing ASF DNA fragments was confiscated at a Northern Irish airport. In the UK, the government launched an awareness campaign to help keep ASF from its borders.
Global Meat News will be hosting a free webinar on African Swine Fever and its impact on the international meat market on 29 October. To get involved, contact Aline Henderson from our commercial team on firstname.lastname@example.org.