PIG CRISIS BODY BLOW
Mitchelstown suffered another serious body blow this week with the recall of all Irish pork and pork products after cancer causing dioxins were found to be present in samples that were tested.
Three Mitchelstown pig farmers had production shut down and their stock quarantined with the possibility for one farmer of having 2,500 pigs culled. With North Cork recognized as the largest pig producing area in the country the crisis is having a devastating effect on employment in the area.
Pig farmer Conor O’Brien confirmed that he has placed the staff on his farm on protective notice and at Hodgins Pork Sausages Mervin Hodgins told The Avondhu, “We got imported pigmeat from Holland on Sunday when we heard about the crisis on Saturday. We’re processing on a skeleton scale using the imported pork at the moment, we have 25 full-time staff but some people have taken holidays, others have taken leave without pay and we’re only doing about one-fifth of our normal day’s production.”
The crisis continues will the Department of Agriculture reporting that nine beef farms in the Republic have also tested positive for the dioxins. However, no recall of beef is likely, as the affected meat has not reached the food chain. It has been confirmed that the herds effected are to be destroyed.
Tony Lewis, PRO of Mitchelstown Business Association, called for strong leadership in this very serious situation for Mitchelstown, “Everybody is in shock about this and people are apprehensive because no one can quantify what the consumer response will be.
"I was talking to people directly involved – a pig farmer and some workers – and they were very angry at this brinkmanship between the Government and the processors over compensation.
"They want it sorted out immediately so they can get Irish pork back on the shelf. People around here are very angry at what they see is bad leadership from the Government. They’re dithering and dithering, and there’s brinkmanship going on over compensation with the processors while the industry is on its knees and jobs could be lost.”
Saturday 13th December 2:06pm