Gildernew attends all-Ireland Ministerial Council Farm meeting
Sinn Féin Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has met with Mary Coughlan, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), Eamon O'Cuiv, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCRGA) and Environment Minister Arlene Foster MLA (DOE) at the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) Agricultural Sector meeting in Donegal.
The Ministers welcomed the opportunity to come together to discuss north-south co-operation in the agriculture sector and discussed a range of issues, including co-operation on animal health and welfare, rural development, free movement of animals, plant health and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Gildernew said:
"Today has been a great opportunity for myself and my Executive colleague Arlene Foster to meet our southern counterparts to take stock of the progress made by the agriculture sector of the NSMC since its last meeting in 2002 and update each other on current problems and issues.
"Following our successful 'Fortress Ireland' approach to Foot and Mouth Disease in the summer and the threat of bluetongue, Minister Coughlan and myself have agreed to take forward an approach to an all-island Animal Health and Welfare strategy through a north-south steering group, particularly to tackle free movement of animals on the island.
"I have also agreed with Minister O'Cuiv a commitment to maximum co-operation in the area of rural development to get the best results for all our people. I look forward to further progress at these NSMC meetings and to reflect on our work today at the next NSMC meeting in early 2008. I hope to meet Minister Coughlan soon, ahead of the December fisheries meeting in Brussels."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The North South Ministerial Meeting (NSMC) on the agriculture sector was held at Harvey's Point Hotel in County Donegal.
For more information on the NSMC visit http://www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org