The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development today reminded farmers in Northern Ireland that livestock movements remain strictly controlled and that livestock marts here remained closed for most purposes. The Department was clarifying the position following the decision of the authorities in the Republic of Ireland to allow the reopening of livestock marts there with effect from Monday, 18 June..

A DARD spokesman said,

The Agriculture Minister had under review the question of when the Northern Ireland marts might safely be allowed to resume their normal trade, that stage had not yet been reached. He said the Minister hoped to be able to allow the Northern Ireland marts to resume their business on a phased basis soon, at present they were only being used under strict control as collection centres for fat lambs going to slaughter. The marts would be allowed to open soon for the receipt of Over Thirty Month Animals going direct for slaughter but would not reopen for some time for normal cattle sales and at a later date for sheep. For the time being, the rules on livestock movements which were last updated on 5 June following the EU's award of regional Foot and Mouth Disease status to Northern Ireland, remain in force.