December 12, 2008

Ireland reauthorizes pig slaughter after dioxin scare

Ireland has reauthorized the slaughtering of pigs in the wake of a dioxin scare after an agreement signed Thursday (December 11) morning between the government and the pork industry, RTE state radio said.


The deal comes five days after the slaughter of pigs was banned following the discovery of cancer-causing dioxins in slaughtered pigs in nine pig producer operations in the Irish Republic, prompting the recall of all Irish pork on Saturday.


Intensive negotiations between representatives of pork producers and Ireland's Agriculture Ministry concluded at around 0100 GMT Thursday.


The government has also set up a EUR180 million contingency fund to compensate those hit by the recall.


"It will come as a great relief for the employees and the consumers," Prime Minister Brian Cowen told RTE.


The agriculture ministry said Wednesday that Irish pork products can go back on sale so long as processors can prove the meat wasn't from herds believed to be contaminated by dioxins.

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