Hazzard welcomes consultation on Biosecurity guidance for Brucellosis
Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MLA has welcomed the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) consultation concerning statutory biosecurity guidance for brucellosis.
The South Down Assemblyman said he was “encouraged by recent statistics that indicate that brucellosis is at its lowest level since the 1990s” and that it is important that “farmers are given the recognition they deserve for working with the Department in tackling the disease.”
The DARD Committee member however, warned against complacency and argued that to “achieve the target in the Programme for Government to reduce brucellosis confirmed annual herd incidence to zero by 2014 was going to require herd keepers to continue to adhere to the testing programme that their Veterinary Offices have deemed necessary for them.”
He continued, “The Department is proposing to introduce statutory biosecurity guidelines in an effort to raise herd keepers’ awareness about the steps they can take to protect their herd from the risk of brucellosis and to help eradicate the disease.
“Eradicating brucellosis will not only pave the way to achieving EU Officially Brucellosis Free Status, but it will also ensure safer farming conditions – as brucellosis is a highly infectious disease and poor biosecurity can be a serious risk to the individual farmer, to the herds, and ultimately to the entire agricultural industry,” Hazzard added.
The consultation period is open for six weeks (16th July – 29th August) and copies of the consultation documents are available by visiting www.dardni.gov.uk/consultations – alternatively you can request hard copies of the documents by telephoning 028 9052 4772.
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