McAleer welcomes BSE Negligible Risk status
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on rural affairs, Declan McAleer has welcomed the announcement that the north has been recommended for BSE Negligible Risk (NR) status by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Mr McAleer said:
“This is fantastic news for the industry which enhances the north’s image as a disease free area and will provide a boost for exports.
“Achieving Negligible Risk Status is the product of years of hard work by our farmers, DAERA and other stakeholders and will help remove the shadow of BSE that has been present for over 20 years and return the sector to better times.
“While I welcome the BSE Negligible Risk, it is vital that this status is protected and built upon. Unfortunately, the cloud of Brexit hangs over the industry bringing with it the potential to inhibit trade, particularly to other EU countries and could open the north to lower standard food imports
“The recent report ‘Brexit: Farm Animal Welfare’ by the Westminster EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee highlighted that one of the greatest threats posed by Brexit was farmers being forced to compete against cheap, imported food produced abroad to lower standards.
“It would be deeply regretful if the substantive gains we have made in terms of high food standards was undermined by the British government decision to take the north out of the EU.
"This issue along with many others across the sectors strengthen the case for special status for the north to remain in the EU."