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Gildernew meets with Southern Counterpart

19 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA met today with her Southern counterparts in County Cavan.

The Tri-lateral meeting was attended by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Brendan Smith TD, and Eamon O'Cuiv TD, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Minister Gildernew said:

"This meeting is a continuation of our regular meetings on north-south issues. It is generally recognised throughout this island that there are enormous benefits in co-operation in all areas. Ireland is renowned for the quality of its environment and the health of its livestock.

"There have already been a number of positive outcomes as a result of North-South co-operation on animal health and welfare issues, including the development of a largely similar sheep identification system; exchange of data to facilitate trade in bovine animals; alignment of border control policies aimed at preventing animal disease spread, and contingency planning for disease outbreaks including Foot and Mouth, Avian Flu and Bluetongue."

Issues discussed at the meeting included a Memorandum of Understanding between both Forest Services which would lead to increased co-operation in the future and the Farm Nutrient Management and Farm Waste Management schemes. There was also agreement on general priorities of strategies for the forthcoming December Fisheries Council meetings in Brussels and that the north-south units in both departments meet in the near future to explore future areas of work.

Notes to Editors

The Tri-lateral meeting took place on Friday 19 September in Slieve Russell Hotel, Co. Cavan.

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