Ireland, EU offer aid to spur Irish pork industry

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) -- The Irish government and the European Union have pledged funds to help Ireland's pork industry recover from a recent contamination scare.

The Irish government said it was committing euro180 million ($235 million) to the country's major pork-processing plants, while the EU pledged euro15 million ($20 million).

Ireland withdrew pork products from sale after illegal levels of dioxin chemicals were found in pigs at 10 farms, but experts later said the tainted meat was safe was to eat.

Processors had refused to slaughter 10,000 pigs at the dioxin-hit farms unless the government helped cover losses from recalled goods. The government agreed Thursday.

The EU aid will cover storage of stockpiled pork goods awaiting clearance for sale.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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