The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Mrs Bríd Rodgers MLA, has announced a tightening of the restrictions on the movement of animals in Northern Ireland as a result of the current Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.

Mrs Rodgers said:

"Since the beginning of the current emergency we have allowed animals to be moved direct from farm to slaughter under the normal movement arrangements which applied before the FMD outbreak. This was to ensure minimal disruption to the slaughtering sector and the food production chain.

"My Chief Veterinary Officer has clearly advised me that it is vital to tighten controls on these movements to ensure no further spread of Foot and Mouth Disease in Northern Ireland. I have therefore made an amendment to the Foot and Mouth Disease (Controlled Area) Order (Northern Ireland) 2001 which means that as of today all live animal movements must be licensed by the Department, even if the animals are going for slaughter. I have also amended the Order to require that the movement of carcases must also be licensed. The only exceptions to this are for on-farm emergency slaughter of an animal for human consumption, in which case a casualty certificate must be provided by a private veterinary practitioner (PVP), or if the carcase is a BSE or scrapie suspect."

Mrs Rodgers added,

"This change is necessary if we are to maintain proper monitoring and control of animal movements and to prevent any undesirable animal movements, such as from farm to farm.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. The Foot and Mouth Disease (Controlled Area) (No. 2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2001 implementing these amendments was made on 5 March and came into operation with immediate effect.
  2. The practical arrangements of how the licensing system will work are set out in DARD Press Release No 115/01