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National Aujesky's Disease Control and Eradication Programme

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, is delighted to announce that Ireland has achieved an important EU milestone in receiving official recognition of our Aujeszky's disease control and eradication status.

Speaking today the Minister said "I am delighted with the progress made in this programme to date.  Following two national testing phases we are now at the stage where Aujeszky's Disease has been practically eliminated from Ireland. The objective of our Aujeszky's Disease Control and Eradication Programme is to officially eradicate Aujeszky's disease from the national pig herd.  Attaining "Annex II" status is a very significant checkpoint in meeting this objective, and it is a clear demonstration of the progress we have made and of the commitment shown by all concerned". 

 

 

"I would like to thank pig herd owners, the farm representative bodies and veterinary practitioners as well as my Department staff for the level of co-operation and commitment they have shown", said the Minister.  The future of agriculture in the country will be influenced to a very large extent by its ability to control and eradicate animal diseases and the Minister places a very high priority on the programme. 

 

 

Ireland is moving forward with Phase 3 of the Control and Eradication Programme, with the ultimate intention of moving to "Annex I" status - official disease freedom.  Detailed testing arrangements for phase 3 of the programme which the Minister announced in early March, are now being finalised, and herd owners will receive notification to test in the coming weeks.  He urged all herd owners to make the necessary arrangement to test their herd as soon as possible following notification so that the national programme can be concluded speedily.  "All necessary resources for this phase of the programme, which will be implemented by the Department's local office in Ballybay, have been put in place", according to the Minister. 

 

 

The Minister said that his officials are in regular communication with their counterparts in Northern Ireland and are adopting an all Ireland approach to attaining official recognition of our freedom from Aujeszky's disease. 

 

 

Concluding, Minister Smith said that "official elimination of Aujeszky's Disease from the national pig herds will be of significant benefit to the whole Irish pig sector by recognising the health standard of the national herd, by protecting our access to export markets and by allowing Ireland to exploit new market opportunities".   

Date Released: 12 April 2010