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Vets play important role in protecting Irish farming industry

23 November, 2012 - by Oliver McMullan

Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has said that the veterinary industry needs to work hand in hand with government in ensuring that Ireland's clean green image is maintained around the world.

 Speaking at the annual veterinary dinner Mr. McMullan said,

 “Animal health is key part of our agricultural industry and the veterinary profession plays a lead role in ensuring our status as a safe food producer.

 “We need the veterinary profession working to ensure that we are maintaining our animal health status and tackling the diseases that we have in the most effective manner possible.

 “As an island it is vital that Ireland as a whole takes the same approach to tackling disease. Through the All Island Animal health strategy our Minister Michelle O Neill and the southern Minister Simon Coveney are working closely together to ensure our animal health policies across the island are aligned.

 “Both are also ensuring that we adopt a fortress Ireland approach to animal diseases that are heading our way from continental Europe or Britain. A good example was our ability to keep Foot and Mouth out of Ireland in 2007 following the outbreak at Perbright and in 2010 we successfully kept Ireland free from Bluetongue through the Fortress Ireland approach so it is vital that this north south co-ordination continues.

 “Through the All Island Animal Health Strategy we were recently able to declare Ireland North and South free of Audeskys disease in pigs and we hope that in the next few years the north can join the south in being free of Brucellocis in cattle.

 “I welcome the commitment from the veterinary industry to work toward protecting the welfare of animals on the island and in doing so the protection of so many jobs in the agri-food sector.”

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