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Minister Coughlan announces reintroduction of FMD Controls

Having chaired a meeting of the Management Committee of her Department's National Disease Control Centre (NDCC), the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., announced that, in response to a new confirmed case of foot-and-mouth disease in Surrey, she has reintroduced a ban on the importation of live animals and certain animal products, including fresh meat and raw milk and milk products, from Great Britain. The Minister said that she noted that a standstill on the movement of livestock was being put in place in Britain in response to this latest case and consequently animals are prevented from travelling to GB from Ireland.

Earlier, the Minister briefed the Government on the latest developments in Britain. Minister Coughlan also spoke to the Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle Gildernew MLA and agreed that an all-island approach should be maintained on this occasion, as it was in response to last month's outbreak. Similar measures to those being introduced are also being put in place in Northern Ireland.

Minister Coughlan also confirmed that disinfection procedures at ports and airports are being reintroduced immediately. In addition, her Department had contacted industry and farming bodies as well as the agencies whose assistance may be required in applying various control measures.

The Department has confirmed that four consignments of live animals have been imported from Britain since the recommencement of live trade and these animals have been traced and are being inspected by Department staff.

The Minister reiterated previous advice to farmers to be particularly vigilant and to report any suspicious signs to her Department immediately and reminded the public of her Department's Helpline number - 1890 252 283.

12 September, 2007

Date Released: 12 September 2007