Irish to tackle Salmonella in pig herd

26-05-2009 | |

The Irish Department of Agriculture is to launch a new Salmonella scheme in a bid to tackle worrying levels of the disease in the national pig herd.

Alma Flack, Senior veterinary inspector told the Pig Health Society’s 36th symposium that the levels of the disease in the Irish herd were way above the EU average.

The EU average for Salmonella taken from lymph node samples is 10.3%. However, the figure for Ireland stands at between 15 and 20%. EU studies however have shown that more than half of the cases of Salmonella in humans are acquired from overseas travel or from imported food products.

Ireland tops the table when it comes to carcass contamination at slaughter, which stands at 20%. The EU average is 8.3%.

“It’s all about food safety. There is a big problem out there and we, as farmers, need to address that. Everyone is involved in the ‘farm to fork’ model and we have to be,” Flack said.

The Department official said the new plan is likely to launch in the next two or three months. “Operationally, the new plan is easier. It’s going to be rolled out on 15 farms where we think there is a problem,” she said.

Flack added that from 2012, a national plan would be required for the control and reduction of disease by all EU member states. “Ireland will have to meet EU targets and these will be tied in with certification,” Flack concluded.