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O’Neill endorses new industry-led approach on animal health

21 May, 2012 - by Michelle O'Neill

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill today met industry representatives to discuss an innovative new industry-led approach to dealing with animal health issues. At the meeting, the industry-group, the Cattle Health Steering Group, set out its proposals to create a new organisation which will seek to tackle production diseases and conditions that impact on trade and competitiveness and that are not subject to national control programmes.

Commending the proposals, the Minister said:

“I very much welcome the fact that there is an increasing desire within industry to tackle these diseases. I believe that there is real potential to improve the competitiveness of the sector through tackling production diseases like BVD. I am therefore keen for my Department to help get this initiative off the ground. My officials have been working closely with the Steering Group on this initiative and to provide advice. Of course, buy-in by farmers will be key to the success of the programme.”

The Minister endorsed the Group’s proposals for a voluntary eradication programme for BVD from January 2013 and added:

“I am encouraged to hear that private investment is being sought to support the new approach. As experience elsewhere has shown, commitment from industry to funding such initiatives on production diseases will be critical to their sustained success. I also welcome the steps to establish collaborative links with industry in the south. Taking an all-island approach to production diseases will help support trade throughout the island.”

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