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Delay as Bluetongue Time Bomb Ticks On

04 April 2008

UK - A further delay on the decision to introduce new measures in order to prevent the spread of bluetongue has been met with disapproval by the Ulster Farmers' Union. As the season unfolds, the union says it is becoming crucial to act sooner rather than later.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said: “Farmers now realise the impact a Bluetongue outbreak would have on their individual businesses. It could put their livelihoods at stake and we believe strict measures are needed to ensure the disease is not introduced to the island of Ireland.


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"The importation of any live animals is placing the entire industry at an unacceptable risk."
UFU President Kenneth Sharkey

The EU’s SCoFCAH Committee have this week discussed further control measures proposed by the EU Commission for the disease but did not vote. Instead, a further scientific meeting is to be held later this week with decisions expected at the next SCoFCAH meeting scheduled for 8 and 9 April”.

Kenneth Sharkey said: “The UFU and IFA realise that a Bluetongue outbreak would have a severe economic impact on farm businesses. That is why we are being proactive and proposing tighter restrictions on the importation of Bluetongue susceptible animals.

"We have already met jointly with the RoI Agriculture Minister, Mary Coughlan, and have also requested a meeting for both organisations will be meeting with the NI Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew early next week. In the mean time I am calling once again for farmers and meat processors to stop the importation of livestock. The importation of any live animals is placing the entire industry at an unacceptable risk”.


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