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Help In Eradicating Brucellosis

24 February 2010

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has announced a fresh appeal for the rural community’s assistance in efforts to eradicate Brucellosis in local cattle herds.

Delivering her appeal, the Minister said: “Recent events at Lislea in County Armagh have again highlighted the extent of the problems we face in our industry in our efforts to achieve the eradication of brucellosis here. The irresponsible actions of a few could easily set us back by years.

“Thanks to the fast acting response of the affected farmer in this case, we were able to put control measures into the area very quickly to try to contain the impact of this devastating attack. I again wish to thank him for coming forward regarding the incident. My heart goes out to him over the losses which this attack has caused to his herd."

She added: “Since the incident at Lislea I have met with local farmers in Laurencetown and in Mullaghbawn in South Armagh to hear first hand their concerns following this very sinister development. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we keep up our guard against brucellosis and work even harder to reduce the incidence rate in the north.

“So today I am taking this opportunity on the back of the launch of my Department’s brucellosis advertising campaign to again raise awareness of the challenges that we face.

“Herd owners should continue to be vigilant for any signs of suspicious activity around their herds, ensuring that the biosecurity precautions advised in the Biosecurity Code are in place. In 07/08 our Brucellosis Control Programme paid out £7.1million in compensation for herds affected by the disease. Although this was reduced in 08/09 to £3.8million it is still money that has to be diverted away from programmes that would benefit our industry in other areas.

In conclusion, she said: “I am again appealing today for anyone in the rural community who can help us catch the culprits in the Lislea case or prevent a similar type of attack occurring in the future to pass that information to the authorities or my Department. Attacks such as the Lislea incident are a blight on everyone in the farming community and will require a great combined effort to let those responsible know that this will not be tolerated.”

Anyone who wishes to contact the Department with information regarding Brucellosis infection can ring their local DVO or the DARD helpline 028 9052 4999 or send their information to: Room 715 DARD, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Rd, Belfast.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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