Irish Republican News · August 8, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: All-island bid to stop foot and mouth disease
All-island bid to stop foot and mouth disease

The Dublin government and the Belfast Executive have promised to co-operate closely to stop foot and mouth disease spreading from England to animals across the Irish Sea.

The Dublin government and the Belfast Executive have promised to co-operate closely to stop foot and mouth disease spreading from England to animals across the Irish Sea.

An import ban is in place on live cattle, sheep, pigs and goats as well as fresh meat, meat products and unpasteurised milk from Britain.

In Belfast, ministers have drawn up a document covering every possible scenario in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak in Surrey, the North’s Agriculture Minister, Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew has said.

While a total ban had been imposed on the movement of farm animals from Britain, belfast ministers were not imposing any restrictions on the livestock trade with the 26 Counties.

Ms Gildernew said: “We have acted very quickly to close the ports to ensure that we batten down the hatches and ensure we took whatever precautions we could to try and stop the spread of the disease coming into Ireland.

“The situation will be kept constantly under review and we have mirrored closely what is happening with the Department of Agriculture in the south in order to create a Fortress Ireland approach and to ensure that we are protecting the Island from foot and mouth disease.”

Vehicle and foot passengers’ disinfectant mats have been installed at sea ports and airports.

Leaflets have also been distributed to the public at ports giving advice on personal disinfection following contact with livestock in Britain, advising them on preventative measures.

Airline and shipping companies have also begun making onboard announcements and public announcements are also being made in terminal buildings.

Exports of fresh meat, live animals and milk products have been banned from all of Britain for the time being, the European Commission said.

But despite a specific exemption from the EU ban on British meat exports, dairy produce from the North was shunned in Germany and a shipment of pork from Tyrone has been rejected by Japan.

© 2007 Irish Republican News