Gildernew calls for the removal of UK status for exported products
Fermanagh/South Tyrone MP and Minister for Agricultural and Rural Development, Michelle Gildernew, has called for the removal of the UK identification of exported animals as it associates us with diseases such as Foot and Mouth and Bluetongue.
The Minister said, “We have worked hard with our Fortress Ireland policy to keep Ireland free from these diseases and to enhance Irelands epizootically disease free reputation within Europe and further afield. I feel that the fact that our farmers must tag their animals with the ‘UK’ stamp can be an impediment to trade and taint us with diseases that we have so far worked successfully to resist. Around the world there are still residual effects of the BSE crisis in Britain. In recent years, Britain has suffered two outbreaks of Foot and Mouth, Avian Influenza and is now a Bluetongue affected zone. These situations have a negative impact on our exports to the rest of the world.
The Minister added, “ In the south of Ireland they will be shortly applying to Brussels for Brucellocis free status, in the north we have made great strides against this disease and are hopeful that we can follow suit in the not too distant future. This move could further boost Irelands clean green reputation throughout the world”
The Minister for Agriculture concluded, “I think it was often said, during the BSE crisis, that there is no such thing as a British cow in Ulster. I would agree whole heartedly with this sentiment and feel now is the time to remove this impediment from our farmers.”