The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Bríd Rodgers MLA met representatives from the Ulster Farmers Union and the Northern Ireland Agriculture Producers Association earlier today (Tuesday 6 March) as part of her continuing dialogue with the agri-food industry in relation to the foot and mouth disease situation. Speaking after the meetings, Mrs Rodgers said :-

“I had very useful exchanges with the main farming organisations and was able to tell them that while we continue to receive reports of suspicious symptoms in animals – for which I am very grateful – none has proved to be foot and mouth disease. I am glad to say that the situation is that Northern Ireland has still had only a single confirmed outbreak.

“I told both organisations that I had met Ministerial colleagues at the special Executive Committee meeting earlier this morning to update them and to agree the guidance which needed to issue to the public.

“Finally, we discussed some of the practical issues which are increasingly affecting farmers on the ground as time moves on, and I was able to offer my Department’s support in the production of any detailed guidance which either body wishes to issue.”

The Minister noted that she would be meeting other sectors of the industry, either collectively or individually as appropriate, over the coming days. published a feature on foot and mouth. To read it, click here.