Investigation after toxic substance found in pigs

Sat, Dec 6, 2008, 00:00

Animal movements at a number of Irish farms have been restricted following the discovery of a toxic substance in slaughtered pigs.

The Department of Agriculture is understood to have launched an investigation into the discovery of the toxins which have been linked with animal feed.

Earlier this week it was reported that restrictions had been placed on a number of pig farms after organic pollutants known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were detected in pork fat during routine monitoring.

When contacted by irishtimes.comthis evening, a spokeswoman for the department gave no details about the investigation but said a statement was being prepared and would be issued later this evening.

A press briefing is also set to take place involving both the Department of Health and Agriculture at 7.30 pm on what is described as "a serious public health issue".

The pig farming industry is the fourth biggest sector in Irish agriculture and some 400 pigs farmers are operating in a sector worth close to half a billion euro annually.

More details to follow