US restrictions on Northern produce lifted
Sinn Féin Agriculture Minster Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has welcomed the decision of the US government to lift the restrictions on Six County exports entering America.
The move by the US Administration follows lobbying from Michelle Gildernew and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA.
Welcoming the move Ms Gildernew said:
"This is a positive result for local industry.
"I am absolutely delighted at the speed of the US decision to remove the restriction on trade, particularly as this was one of the specific trading difficulties that was raised with us in our recent discussions with the meat and dairy industry.
"I am confident the decision was a direct result of the decisive action on August 3, when the importation of all FMD susceptible livestock farm Britain was immediately prohibited."
DARD has also confirmed that the ban on local livestock going to Britain for direct slaughter has been relaxed under certain conditions.
Animals for slaughter may move direct to an approved slaughter plant in Britain, provided the consignment is accompanied by a DARD Export Health Certificate, which is available from local Divisional Veterinary Offices (DVOs). The move has been agreed between DARD, DEFRA and the other regional Agriculture Departments and applies to exports of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs for immediate slaughter.
All consignments must also be accompanied by a General Import Licence and an Internal Movement Licence issued by the respective Agriculture Departments in Britain.
DARD wishes to remind farmers and the rural community that they must remain vigilant and maintain strong bio-security. The north remains a foot and mouth free zone.
If you require foot and mouth advice or have any concerns you can telephone DARD's helpline on 02890524999 or access information online at:
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Transport of Animals and Poultry (Cleansing and Disinfection) Order 2007 (SR 2007 No.279) lays down the statutory requirements for the cleansing and disinfection of vehicles used in transporting animals.
2. Commission Decision (2007/554/EC) of 9 August 2007 lays down certain protection measures against Foot and Mouth Disease.