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Foot and Mouth - Gildernew supports local food processors

10 August, 2007


Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has today visited a milk processor in Banbridge.

During her visit the Minister stressed:

"Throughout this current outbreak of foot and mouth it is crucial that we get the message across that local products are safe, we are exempt from the exports ban and we are open for business.

"I wish to emphasise to local industry that I am working 24/7 to iron out any outstanding issues. I take heart from what I have seen here today and am very aware of the serious threat any export problems could pose across the dairy and beef industries. The dairy sector is a major contributor to the local economy and I wish to re-affirm my continuing support and say that I will not be found wanting through either my Department or Executive colleagues to aid efforts to protect local exports.

"However we must remember that until this crisis is over we must all stay vigilant, ensuring that all bio-security measures are fully in place and to ensure that we keep Foot and Mouth out of the country. I will continue to closely monitor developments."

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The Minister visited Fane Valley Co-operative Society, at the Mourne-Maid Site in Banbridge, County Down. Fane Valley Co-operatives was established in 1903 and operates two Dairies at Armaghdown Creameries in Newry, and at Fane Valley in Banbridge.

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