Irish Ban Potato Imports

Published online: Mar 12, 2001
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Irish Farmers' Association called for a ban on potato imports as a measure to prevent the possible introduction of foot-and-mouth disease in Ireland.

Association national potato committee executive secretary Malachy Mitchell said up to 50 trucks from England and Scotland arrive in Ireland each week carrying between 1,000 and 1,500 tones of potatoes.

He said the Department of Agriculture had no controls in place in ascertaining where the trucks are coming from-or if they were passing through a restricted areas in the UK.

A department spokesman said potatoes could not introduce FMD or the soil attached to them. The vehicles were a potential risk but they have to go through disinfection procedures before entering Ireland.