Aujeszky's vaccine banned
An immediate ban on the use of Aujeszky's Disease vaccine has been announced by the Department of Agriculture and the vaccine can no longer be used except under licence from the Department.
This ban was introduced under the Aujeszky's Disease Control and Eradication Programme.
Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith said the move was a vital step in reaching Aujeszky's-free status for Ireland.
"This will be of significant benefit to the whole Irish pig sector by recognising the health standard of the Irish pig herd and will protect and develop our access to international export markets," Mr Smith said.
"In May, Ireland received official EU recognition for the health status achieved thus far under the Aujeszky's Disease Control and Eradication Programme. We are determined to build on this progress and achieve the officially recognised standard of Aujeszky's-free for the national herd."
Meanwhile, although European pig prices are back by 3pc this year, a Bord Bia market report said there were signs of an improvement over recent months.
Prices for the second quarter of the year have improved in key producing countries such as Spain, Germany and Denmark in response to lower supplies. Prices have also risen on the French market, albeit slower.
The greatest fall in supplies has been evident in Spain -- the latest November census showed a drop of 4pc, to 2.4m head, in the breeding herd. A recent lift in Danish prices is linked to the strengthening live trade, especially to Germany, where processing costs are lower. Another factor helping the pigmeat trade is stronger demand from outside the EU.