Nine Northern Ireland farms used contaminated feed

 

Nine farms in Northern Ireland have used the same contaminated animal feed which has led to a recall of all pig products processed in the Republic, it emerged today.

The North's agriculture minister Michelle Gildernew confirmed restrictions have been placed on the farms which were identified by her department's electronic monitoring system.

The move follows the withdrawal of all pork products sold and exported from the Republic after a toxic substance was identified in a feed which was supplied to 10 pig farms in the south of the country.

The Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI) insisted health risks to the public were minimal and claimed the withdrawal was a precautionary measure.

Ms Gildernew said restrictions were put in place on Friday night when the situation began to unfold.

"To date nine farms in the north have been identified as having used the contaminated feed," she said.

"We are supplying the FSA with all the necessary information to allow them to take an informed decision." Ms Gildernew said she has been in contact with Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith, who updated her on the rationale for the decision to recall all stocks bought since September 1st.

"My officials have been in close contact with their counterparts in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) since this situation developed," she continued.

"There is obviously a large amount of north south movement of these products in Ireland and we need to carefully consider the way ahead." Ms Gildernew said she has also kept the North's health minister Michael McGimpsey up to date with developments.

"I want to ensure the Health Minister is fully briefed so that decisions can be taken and consumers can be kept informed," she added.

PA