Ireland’s National Pig Health Council (NPHC) has adopted a list of measures to limit the risk of the entry of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus into the country. The measures were adopted following a recent NPHC meeting.
According to National Pig Health Council Chairman Pat Kirwan, the PED virus prevention measures include:
- An initial three-month voluntary ban on the importation of live pigs or semen, including for shows and specialist breeds
- An initial three-month ban on the export of live pigs for slaughter to infected countries
- An initial three-month voluntary ban on the sale of plasma protein/blood plasma products or products containing these substances.
- A recommendation that all staff returning to work after the Christmas break must prove that they have been back in the country for at least three days. These staff should also be provided with new clothing and foot ware.
- Biosecurity on farms and feed mills to be increased.
The prevention plan follows the news that PED virus has entered Europe.
“Porcine epidemic diarrhea caused enormous losses on farms in America, Canada and Mexico in 2014 killing millions of pigs and leaving farm families devastated,” said Irish Farmers’ Association Pigs Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty. “The disease has now been confirmed in the EU and it is spreading fast in the cold weather. Although the disease carried no public health importance, should it enter Irish farms, our industry will be completely decimated.
“Although the industry is taking a proactive stance in terms of trying to protect itself, we are very reliant on the government taking an active role in this also. We are calling on [Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine] to set up a rapid response unit and to put a contingency plan in place that can be followed in the event of an outbreak. There are 10,000 jobs and one billion Euros worth of an industry dependent on it.”