By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister of State McEntee addresses 38th Annual Conference of the Irish Pig Health Society

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today addressed the 38th Annual Symposium and Trade Fair of the Irish Pig Health Society at the Mullingar Park Hotel.

Opening the proceedings, Minister of State McEntee commended the organising Committee and Society members for their ongoing commitment to all aspects of pig health. The Minister reminded those present of the importance of the Irish pig sector. "The pig industry is a valuable component of the overall agri-food sector and has a farm gate value in excess of €330 million. The industry supports approximately 7,500 jobs including production, slaughter, processing, feed manufacture and services, making it the 3rd largest component of the overall agri-food sector."

The Minister of State reminded delegates of the ambitious targets contained in Food Harvest 2020, including increasing the value of output by 50%, with increased sow productivity being one of the primary drivers of this growth. Commenting on the difficulties the sector currently faces, the Minister of State remarked that Teagasc research indicates further improvements in price over the next few months with producers reaching break even by mid-summer.  He went on to say that "We must all acknowledge the fact that if we want to have good quality Irish pigmeat more must be done to spread the risk and costs of production through the supply chain."

Concluding, Minister of State McEntee complimented the Pig Health Society on the importance of their work. "Notwithstanding the focus on price, margins and returns, without a robust system to underpin animal health, none of these will be satisfactory.  This is where the work that your society is involved in is of immense importance.  Consumers need to be assured that the product is produced in a safe, healthy and compliant manner. Your work with producers and their vets goes a long way to ensuring that."

Date Released: 17 May 2011