Following reports that a Irish meat processor is involved in importing pork from Poland, a country that is affected by African swine fever, Irish Farmers' Association Pigs and Pigmeat chairman Tom Hogan says there should be an immediate ban on any pork imports from countries affected by ASF in their commercial herd.
ASF, which does not affect humans, has been devastating to the pig herds of affected countries in eastern European and in Asia in recent months. Hogan says that it was completely reckless that any processor would partake in importing pork into Ireland from a country affected by ASF, and risk jeopardizing the health status of the national pig herd.
In its statement, the IFA says the reputational damage that could potentially be caused to important international export markets by such activity would be catastrophic.
Hogan is calling 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 Bord Bia approved pork and bacon, and while “any importation of product into Ireland is pure opportunism at the best of times,” IFA says, “it is utterly reckless to the entire pig and pork sector under the heightened ASF risk situation.”
Hogan is requesting the Department of Agriculture 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.