An estimated 48,000 sows were affected, or one third of the national herd.

Annual production from these is 1.25m pigs or 24,000 per week.

Losses are occuring due to a significant increase in farm mortality for a 10 week period, as well as poorer feed conversion efficiency.

Ciaran Carroll of Teagasc estimated that this will result in losses of between 3,500 and 4,000 pigs per week for the last quarter of 2013. “The impact could be as high as €10m nationally (€200 per sow),” he said.

“This could continue into 2014, depending on problems,” he said. “It tends to flare up in winter (colder) time so we could get another blast of problems”.

Total pig loss will be at least 36,000 in 2013, trade sources said.

Hermitage AI, the Kilkenny based genetics company at the centre of the outbreak, is understood to be in discussions with their insurers and affected farmers in relation to compensation claims.