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Minister Coughlan responds to further case of FMD

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today described as 'disappointing, but not surprising' confirmation by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in London of a second case of foot and mouth disease at Egham in Surrey. Minister Coughlan said that she had been aware that this herd had been culled on a precautionary basis on a premises adjacent to that on which a case of FMD had been confirmed on Wednesday.

The Minister confirmed that the Management Committee of the Department's National Disease Control Centre had met today to review the most recent developments and noted that a new EU Commission Decision had been adopted yesterday. The Committee advised the Minister that, notwithstanding this second case at Egham, the existing controls, reinforced by yesterday's Commission Decision are adequate in the current circumstances but will continue to kept under review, particularly in the light of any new developments in the coming days. Minister Coughlan said that while she accepted that the existing controls were an 'adequate response to the existing situation', she wouldn't hesitate to introduce further controls if she considered that the circumstances demanded such an approach.

Meanwhile, Departmental officials have been maintaining contact with DEFRA and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Belfast. Both Departments have now traced all livestock imports from Britain since live trade resumed after the initial cases in early August. All have been inspected by veterinary personnel and none have shown any signs suggestive of FMD.

Minister Coughlan said that this was 'clearly an evolving situation and that it would be very closely monitored.' She would be discussing and reviewing the situation with senior officials over the weekend and with European Ministerial colleagues at an Agriculture Council meeting in Portugal early next week.

14 September, 2007

Date Released: 14 September 2007