Ford calls for vigilance by farmers

Following a meeting with the agriculture minister, Alliance leader David Ford has stated that rural Northern Ireland can escape the problems of foot and mouth that is affecting Great Britain providing farmers take reasonable precautions.

The South Antrim MLA has said: “It is clear that the department of agriculture has acted swiftly to keep the foot and mouth disease out of Northern Ireland.

“Officials have worked hard over the weekend in conjunction with their colleagues in England and the Republic of Ireland. I welcome the news that they have traced 130 imports of livestock from Great Britain since July 1st and have already conducted clinical examinations.

“These efforts appear to have been recognised by Europe and it is likely that we will suffer no export ban for Northern Ireland livestock.

“However, it remains important that local farmers do not become complacent. Farmers should follow the advice on bio security that has been given to them by the department. If individual farms maintain the highest possible standards then it will be possible for normal rural life to continue. At this time of year it is important that events such as shows and rural tourism in general should be allowed.”


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