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Gildernew welcomes stakeholder re-engagement on Responsibility and Cost-Sharing

17 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has welcomed the news that farming industry stakeholders will re-engage with DARD in discussions on responsibility and cost sharing.

The Minister said

"It is good news that key stakeholders have agreed to re-engage in discussions with my officials on responsibility and cost sharing.

"I have said before that it is only right that those affected by Animal Health and Welfare policies should have a clear say in the development of policy and its implementation.

"Greater involvement of industry in the decision making process will lead to better decision making. This will be brought about by increased understanding of the farming industry and collective partnership working and risk management.

"I look forward to receiving the industry's comments on the responsibility and cost sharing consultation within the extended deadline, and the continued engagement of stakeholders as we move forward on what I know is a difficult issue for industry." ENDS

Note to Editors

  1. DARD has extended the closing date of the consultation process to Monday 17 November following discussions with key stakeholders.
  2. This consultation seeks views on how responsibility and cost sharing could be introduced in the North and follows on from a consultation on the principles for responsibility and costing which was issued by the department in December 2006.
  3. The potential benefits of enhanced animal health and welfare are great for animals, their owners, society, public health and the wider rural economy.
  4. The European Commission is reviewing the current Community Animal Health Policy (CAHP). The development of a ''responsibility and cost sharing scheme'' was recommended as an instrument to support the future CAHP.
  5. Whilst it is sensible that the broad principles of responsibility and cost sharing should apply on a member state basis, any new arrangement should be flexible enough to accommodate key regional differences. It is therefore essential that, when developing policies in the North that DARD consider the approach taken in the South of Ireland.
  6. Further information is available from the DARD website

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