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Sinn Féin welcomes cross border meeting on Agriculture

26 January, 2004

Sinn Féin spokespersons on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD and Councillor Gerry McHugh, have welcomed this morning's meeting between Minister for Agriculture Joe Walsh and Britain's direct rule Minister with responsibility for Agriculture Ian Pearson. The two discussed CAP reform and animal health and disease prevention.

Deputy Ferris and Cllr. McHugh said: "Sinn Féin very much welcomes the fact that the two Ministers have taken this initiative. We particularly welcome the commitment to establish a joint working group on the implementation of aspects of the CAP reform. This is something that we have called for since the reform package was agreed last June. We would also recommend that this be expanded to ensure that the overall package is implemented in close co-operation in the best interests of farmers throughout the island.

"In regards to animal health and disease prevention, we would hope to see an identical contingency plan to meet any future crisis. We would also like to see moves towards a joint marketing strategy in regards to the sale of Irish food produce.

"However, while any move towards such co-operation is valuable, it also highlights the urgency for having elected representatives from both parts of the island engaged in this work, through the institutions to which they have been elected". ENDS

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