Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill, has welcomed the formal European Commission recognition of the north’s freedom from Aujeszky’s Disease (Annex I status) that was announced today.
Aujeszky’s Disease is an infectious disease that affects pigs and can cause production and welfare problems as well as having trade implications for the north as a whole.
The Minister said: “I am delighted that the EU has formally recognised that we have eradicated Aujeszky’s Disease in the north. This achievement is testimony to the hard work and commitment of the members of the joint Government/industry working group over the last number of years. Having formal EU recognition of the north’s freedom from Aujeszky’s Disease is welcome news for the whole economy as it will allow pig producers here to access new markets and increase trading opportunities.”
She added: “I am also delighted that the south of Ireland has achieved disease free status today, which will facilitate the trade of pigs on the island. EU recognition of freedom from Aujeszky’s Disease throughout the whole island will also open up further export opportunities for the pig sector.”
“I would urge industry to keep up the good work to maintain our freedom from Aujeszky’s Disease.”