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Brucellosis testing downgrade welcomed

23 June, 2015 - by Oliver McMullan

Sinn Féin Agricultural spokesperson Oliver McMullan has welcomed the relaxation of Brucellosis testing for beef cattle announced today by Minister Michelle O'Neill which will save farmers several millions pounds yet still protect the industry.

 Mr. McMullan said,

 “Due to the fact that it has been three years since the last reported case of brucellosis in beef cattle we can now be downgraded to two yearly herd testing instead of annual testing. The Minister also indicated her intention to abolish pre-movement testing which will mean that cattle will no longer be subject to brucellosis testing when being moved here.

 “These changes will in no way undermine the stringent measures which are in place to protect our beef and dairy herds from disease and maintain the very high quality and reputation of our produce both at home and abroad.

 “The changes will save the Department of Agriculture up to £8m per year and farmers over £7m in associated costs, monies that now can be spent elsewhere.

 “I congratulate the Minister Michelle O’Neill on working to attain Officially Brucellosis Free status (OBF) and her announcement today which will reduce control measures for farmers.”

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