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NI Bluetongue Restrictions to Continue

14 March 2008

UK - The Northern Ireland power-sharing Executive announced tonight that its ban on some sheep and cattle imports from European countries affected by bluetongue disease will continue.

The decision to continue to suspend imports of breeding livestock until a new European bluetongue regulation is imposed was taken at the fortnightly Cabinet meeting at Stormont.

Last month Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew secured her colleagues' backing for restrictions to maintain Northern Ireland's bluetongue-free status.

It followed a similar move by   Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan.

The Executive also approved a tightening of the import conditions set by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for breeding and production animals which could still be brought into the province.

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