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Minister Withdraws disinfection measures at Ports and Airports

10 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA today announced that disinfection measures at ports and airports, introduced in response to last month's outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in England are being withdrawn with effect from midnight on Saturday 8th September.

The Minister has decided that the additional measures could now be discontinued following confirmation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that the 10km Surveillance Zone was being lifted on 8 September.

Ms Gildernew said:

"My Department's latest veterinary assessment is that the additional disinfection controls which we had introduced at our ports and airports are no longer required."

The Minister confirmed that, following consultation between her Department and the Department of Agriculture and Food in Dublin, parallel action is being taken in the South with effect from 8th September.

She continued:

"The additional certification and veterinary trade requirements for animals and their products would remain in place until such time as the Commission Decision is revoked."

The Minister also noted the publication today of the Health and Safety Executive and Spratt Reports into the outbreak in England and Defra's response.

The Minister concluded:

"We will be giving careful consideration to the reports that Defra has published today and to Defra's response."

The Minister also reminded farmers of the importance of maintaining high standards of biosecurity.

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