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Consultation on New Animal Diseases Bill

by 5m Editor
10 January 2008, at 10:32am

UK - The Northern Irish agriculture ministry has launched a consultation on proposed new measures to prevent and control animal and poultry diseases.


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"I am working to develop an All Island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy."
Northern Irish Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew

The Bill will enable stricter enforcement checks at ports, compulsory biosecurity measures at all livestock premises and contingency measures to swiftly contain and eradicate disease outbreaks.

Outlining the background to the proposals, Minister Michelle Gildernew said: "We are all aware of the ongoing threat posed by diseases such as Foot and Mouth, Blue Tongue and Avian Influenza. I want to make sure that we have effective measures in place to protect our livestock industry from the introduction and spread of these diseases.

"If the worst happens and a disease outbreak did occur we need to have a full range of powers available to us to deal with that outbreak quickly and decisively. Particularly to minimise the impact on the agri food industry and protect vital export markets."

The Minister also detailed progress on an all-island health strategy.

She said: "I am working closely with Minister Coughlan in the South to develop an All Island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy. The Bill proposals will help underpin this Strategy by providing the legal controls needed to develop robust animal and poultry disease control plans."

The Minister added: "This new Bill will also look to the future in areas where our policies can maximise use of the latest scientific and research developments, such as electronic identification. This is a very important consultation and I would encourage all stakeholders to consider the draft Bill and let my Department have your views on any aspect of the proposals."

The consultation can be accessed online at: DARDs website http://www.dardni.gov.uk and will run from 7 January until 21 March 2008.

5m Editor