Pig classes cancelled at Tullamore Show amid Swine Flu fears

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

Pig classes cancelled at Tullamore Show amid Swine Flu fears

Pig classes cancelled at Tullamore Show amid Swine Flu fears

Tullamore Show has cancelled all of its pig classes this year due to the ongoing serious situation regarding the African Swine Fever (ASF).

"We have had discussions with the Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Marine and the Irish Pig Society, and it has been decided not to hold any pig classes or have live pigs at the Tullamore Show & FBD National Livestock Show this year, on Sunday, August 11."

"The situation with African Swine Fever has worsened in recent months with the spread to previously unaffected countries in both Europe (eg. Belgium in September 2018) and a number of countries in Southeast Asia. This disease is extremely virulent (similar to Foot & Mouth) and difficult to control (no vaccine available)," a statement from organisers read.

"Currently, Ireland is free of this disease but an outbreak here would threaten/eliminate our €666 million pigmeat exports. We are in a period of heightened awareness of risk and there is much concern amongst pig industry stakeholders in relation to African Swine Fever."

"With the constant threat of ASF reaching Ireland, we felt that the risk was too great to include live pig classes and pig elements in the show. Even with close monitoring of regulation practices, which would be very extensive, it could still prove inadequate to control the threat."

"In light of this risk and in the interest of the overall pig industry, the decision has been made to do what we can to protect the industry. Consequently, while there will be a very full programme of events and competition, there will be no classes for pigs, nor will we have any live pigs at the Tullamore Show & FBD National Livestock Show this year, on Sunday, August 11."

"We appreciate your understanding and wish to gently remind you that Wednesday, July 10, will be the closing date for entries to the 1,000+ other classes. Full details can be checked out on www.tullamoreshow.com."