Gildernew announces closing date for brucellosis collection pilot
Minister Michelle Gildernew, MP MLA, has confirmed that the free pilot collection scheme for aborted material, which has been in operation since mid October last year, will close on 31 March 2009.
Following the completion of the pilot scheme, its success will be evaluated and recommendations made on the scheme’s future with options for any re-introduction.
The Minister said: “The uptake of this scheme by farmers has been very encouraging, with the number of abortions reported substantially increased.
“As we know, abortions are the number one sign of brucellosis and every abortion notified improves our chances of early detection of the disease. Farmers can also be reassured that all the benefits and assistance that both they and my department have gained from the pilot trial will be taken into account in our evaluation.
“The fight against brucellosis is a two-way street and it is only through heightened co-operation between all of us that we can continue to drive brucellosis levels in the North downwards. I also wish to take this opportunity to urge farmers to continue to show responsibility for disease control by reporting all bovine abortions to their local Divisional Veterinary Office while the scheme is being assessed.”