It is not clear what anticipated consumer implications the Deputy has in mind. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has put in place a number of helplines to answer queries from individual members of the public in addition to press and television advertisements. Information is also available on the Department's website. The advice from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is that there are no serious human health implications and that humans do not become infected by eating meat from infected animals. I understand retailers have been notified through the Food Safety Authority of Ireland of any products that need to be removed from their shelves. Members of the public who have concerns about particular products should contact one of the Department's helplines or the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
If foot and mouth disease were to enter Ireland, the most serious implications for employment would be in the farming and agri-food sectors. It is difficult to predict what impact there would be for other sectors of the economy. It has been estimated that for every job in industry there are four jobs elsewhere in the economy and, therefore, the wider implications could be greater than the direct impact. The development agencies are in close contact with clients to ensure key companies have contingency plans. It is crucial that we all remain vigilant in following the procedures that have been put in place to ensure this disease does not enter the country.