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Gildernew praises work of local Brucellosis groups

18 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, announced a brucellosis initiative in the spring of this year, with the purpose of dealing more effectively with bovine brucellosis at all levels.

To facilitate this aim, a series of farmers' meetings were held in March and April of this year, in areas of high brucellosis incidence, and from these meetings a number of local brucellosis liaison groups were set up. The groups have provided a range of valuable grass roots feedback to DARD's Veterinary Service on a number of aspects of brucellosis control.

In appreciation of the groups efforts, the Minister held a reception for them at Loughry campus. Speaking at the event she said:

"I am encouraged by the participation of farmers in the control of this difficult disease and my department is already developing some of the suggestions raised through the meetings and the groups.

"Their efforts in this initiative offer a new model for communication between my department and farmers and I look forward to working with them in the future in the fight against brucellosis. It is vital that farmers continue to be involved in brucellosis control as the farming community is fundamental to eradication through their farm management and biosecurity practices." ENDS

Notes to Editors

One major element of the initiative is to engage with the local farming community grass roots level to discuss the essential elements of the brucellosis control programme and in doing so to improve DARD - farmer communication.

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