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Gildernew comments on Executive decision regarding contaminated feed incident

15 January, 2009


Michelle Gildernew, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, has welcomed the decisions taken today by the Executive Committee on the contaminated feed incident.

Speaking after today's Executive Committee meeting Michelle said: "The contaminated feed incident has caused significant problems for the local agri-food industry with costs to both producers and processors. The Executive has decided to continue to press strongly for the Irish Government to accept that producers and processors from the North should have access to the Southern compensation scheme.

"In the meantime the Executive has agreed to introduce a cull and disposal scheme to remove and dispose of animals in restricted herds which cannot enter the food chain. Under this scheme the Executive will only meet the costs of slaughter and rendering of these animals. It is likely this scheme will cost in the region of £3-4million. We believe that this approach will ensure that the animals do not enter the food chain, will protect the reputation of the industry and help deal with the welfare and management problems which the owners of the animals are facing. This scheme is subject to the implementation details being worked out in conjunction with stakeholders. I and Arlene Foster, as Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment have asked our officials to take this forward urgently."

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

1. Over 7,000 animals are currently under restriction across ten herds. Eight out of the ten herds have been confirmed as positive for dioxins.

2. Where herds test positively for dioxins the Food Standards Agency has determined that the animals from these herds should not enter the food chain.

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