Aujeszky’s Disease ‘Almost Eliminated’ in Pigs

IRELAND - Aujesky's Disease has been practically eliminated from Ireland following two national testing phases, Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith has disclosed.
calendar icon 15 April 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Mr Smith announced that Ireland has achieved an important EU milestone in receiving official recognition for its disease control and eradication status in respect of a serious disease in pigs.

Mr Smith, speaking at the all-island animal health conference in Ballyconnell, Cavan, said he was delighted with progress made in the Aujeszky’s disease control and eradication programme.

According to, he said the objective of the programme is to officially eradicate Aujeszky’s disease from the national pig herd.

"Attaining the 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 by all concerned," he said.

Mr Smith thanked pig herd owners, the farm representative bodies and veterinary practitioners as well as his department staff. He said official elimination of the disease will be of significant benefit to the pig sector by recognising the health standard of the national herd, protecting access to export markets and allowing Ireland to exploit new market opportunities.

Mr Smith also said the ultimate objective of the all-island animal health and welfare strategy is to have policies and arrangements in place that will facilitate the free movement of animals on the island.

He announced that the drafting of an Animal Health and Welfare Bill is progressing. The legislation will amend and consolidate legislation in the area of animal health, particularly to reflect the changed disease status of Irish farm animals.

"Existing legislation will also be updated to ensure that the welfare of all animals, including non-farm animals, is properly protected and that the penalties for offenders are increased significantly," he said.

The north’s agriculture Minister, Michelle Gildernew said north-south cooperation on animal health and welfare issues has the potential to help reduce and prevent the spread of animal disease across Ireland.

IFA president John Bryan, who met with EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, at the Ballyconnell conference, said Irish farmers are very concerned about a number of European animal health and welfare issues.

He said he was very concerned at the rate at which Brazilian authorities are clearing farms to export beef into the EU.

"Brazil has cleared up to 2,000 ranches to export to the EU. However, their traceability system is almost non-existent and fails to meet EU standards," he said.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
- Find out more information on Aujesky's Disease by clicking here.
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