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Minister Coughlan updates position on FMD

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., this afternoon chaired a meeting of the Management Committee of her Department's National Disease Control Centre (NDCC), during which she received a comprehensive briefing from senior Department officials on the current situation with regard to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Surrey, England.

Following the meeting, the Minister reiterated that a range of appropriate measures have been put in place, including a ban on the importation from Great Britain of live cattle, sheep, pigs and goats as well as fresh meat, meat products, raw milk and other animal products from such animals.

Minister Coughlan stressed the need to ensure that farmers, those in the agri and retail business and the general public are kept fully informed of the situation and the consequences of any control measures being introduced. To that end, a public awareness campaign has been commenced and advertisements/public notices will start to appear in the national newspapers tomorrow and an FMD Helpline has been put in place - 1890 252 283.

In addition, the Department's website will be regularly updated with advice to farmers, industry and the general public. The Minister urged farmers to check their animals for any clinical signs of disease and to ensure that they continue to exercise the highest standards of on-farm biosecurity.

In addition, the Department's website will be regularly updated with advice to farmers, industry and the general public. The Minister urged farmers to check their animals for any clinical signs of disease and to ensure that they continue to exercise the highest standards of on-farm biosecurity.

In conclusion, the Minister said that she and her officials would continue to closely monitor developments in GB and would remain in close contact with colleagues in Northern Ireland, as they have done since the start of this outbreak. Apart from being in ongoing contact with her officials, Minister Coughlan will chair a further meeting of the Management Committee of her Department's NDCC again tomorrow.

4 August, 2007

Date Released: 04 August 2007