The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed that a Northern Ireland pig herd has tested positive for Novel H1N1 influenza, according to the Tests on a batch of piglets submitted by a private veterinary practice to the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute on Sept. 11 have tested positive for the novel H1N1 Influenza virus.

“Given that this virus is currently circulating in humans, this finding is not unexpected,” according to a DARD spokesperson. "Influenza viruses, including Influenza A, are present in all pig producing countries, including here and Great Britain and are considered endemic in the pig population.”

As part of the country’s planning process, a voluntary program for pork producers provides guidance on actions to reduce the risk of introduction and limit the spread if introduction occurs. The program emphasizes the country’s existing best pork production practices and is based on good biosecurity and herd health management as already practiced.

The Department is providing advice to the affected farm and will continue to monitor developments and provide advice to the industry as required. The Food Standards Agency has advised that novel H1N1 influenza does not pose a food safety risk to consumers.

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