Concerns raised following reports of Polish pork in circulation

Calls have been made for an immediate ban on any pork imports from countries affected by African swine fever (ASF) in their commercial herd.

Following reports that a meat processor is involved in importing pork from Poland – a country that is affected by ASF – the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) pigs chairman, Tom Hogan, said: “It was completely reckless that any processor would partake in importing pork into Ireland from a country affected by ASF.

“This risks jeopardising the health status of our national pig herd.”

ASF is a disease which does not affect humans, but has been devastating to the pig herds of affected countries in eastern Europe and Asia in recent months.

Continuing, Hogan said: “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.

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

He explained: “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.

It is utterly reckless to the entire pig and pork sector under the heightened ASF risk situation.

Concluding, Hogan 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.