One case of African swine fever (ASF), old variant or new, and the Irish pig industry “is finished”, IFA pig chair Roy Gallie has told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“This cannot be overstated. Our fear is the accidental importation of infected pigmeat or pig faeces or any bit of an infected pig and then the ASF being transmitted to a single pig in Ireland.

“Hobby pig, rare breed pig, commercial pig, they are all the same and the effect will be the same, a closing down of our exports of close to €1bn worth of product,” he said.

Just like COVID-19, a new variant of ASF has emerged over the last couple of months, Gallie said.

“Our understanding is that at least eight million sows have been slaughtered leading to a strengthening of pig prices globally.

“This is of course good news for us but it is on the back of devastation in China,” he said.