The president of the Irish Farmers’ Association, Joe Healy, said the spread of African swine fever west across Europe could wipe out Ireland’s entire pig stock.
As reported by the Irish Times, the fever has swept across Europe, causing millions in losses in the export industry in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
The head of the IFA stressed that “every precaution needs to be taken to ensure that it doesn’t come into Ireland”.
“If it came into the country it would be very difficult to stop it from spreading. It’s of paramount importance that all eventualities are covered,” he said.
“Our pig farmers are very aware of it and are doing everything they can do to ensure it doesn’t come in because they know it could wipe out the Irish pig stock if it did. Everybody needs to exercise caution at this vulnerable time.”
While the disease does not pose a threat to humans or other species, but pigs are highly susceptible to the virus which has no vaccine.
The disease has spread from across the world, hitting nine previously unaffected countries in Europe and Asia.
A report from the Irish Times revealed that a spokesperson for Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said his department was in constant communication with farmers over the importance of biosecurity.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.