Warning not to bring ham products back from holidays
Holidaymakers are being asked to be vigilant about bringing home food products such as ham sandwiches from their holidays abroad in order to prevent the spread of African swine fever (ASF).
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said the introduction of ASF would devastate our pig industry and is asking the public to be aware.
ASF is a contagious virus which has led to the killing of millions of pigs in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Africa and parts of Europe as it spread in recent months.
The disease poses no risk to humans, but Mr Creed warned that if the disease was to spread to Ireland it could put more than 300 pig farmers out of business.
The virus can spread by accidental acts, he said, and with more than a million Irish people travelling abroad every year there is a high risk of it being spread.
He said that to prevent the spread of the disease it was imperative consumers did not bring home food from abroad.
"There's no room for complacency here. A simple ham sandwich or salami or meat product can bring this virus to our doorstep and it would be devastating," he said.