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ICMSA Demands Cattle Import Halt

27 August 2008

IRELAND - The ICMSA has called for a halt to cattle and sheep imports to minimise the risk of spreading Bluetongue disease (BT).

Beef and cattle committee chairman Martin McMahon said it was regrettable that animals were still being imported into Ireland. He said this had been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture.

"One of the key measures to prevent the spread of Bluetongue is to cease the import of livestock until such time as the risk from the disease has receded and we receive expert advice that it is safe to resume importing livestock," he said.

"Any person importing livestock at this time is doing a major disservice to the Irish farm sector and should cease imports immediately," he added.

There have been over 4,500 cases of BT in France already this year. The disease spread to Britain in 2007.

Mr McMahon said the risk of it spreading to Ireland should not be underestimated.

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Source: Irish Independent


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