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Launch of Joint Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Public Health

Today the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr. Brendan Smith TD and the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland, Ms. Michelle Gildernew MLA both attended the launch in Farmleigh of a new Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Public Health.  Also present at the launch were the academic leaders of both University College Dublin and The University of Ulster who signed a Memorandum of Agreement.

The course has been developed by the universities in collaboration with DAFF and DARDNI to meet the continuing educational needs of Official Veterinarians involved in regulating the food industry. The course also meets a legislative requirement contained in European Regulation 854/2004. The course, which will be jointly conferred by both universities, is delivered entirely on-line and is the first of its kind to be available anywhere in Europe.

Minister Smith praised the development of this new Post Graduate Certificate: "My department experts have worked closely not only with both Universities, but also with colleagues from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland, the FSAI, the Food Standards Agency of Northern Ireland and the European Commission Food and Veterinary Office.  This investment by my Department in continuing education for official veterinarians engaged in veterinary public health, demonstrates the importance we give to the proper regulation of the food industry. This regulation is essential if Ireland is to maintain and enhance its position as a producer of food of the very highest quality in European and world markets."

He went on to say that  "this type of continued collaborative work is mutually beneficial to us all and anything that strengthens our controls can only enhance Ireland's profile within the agri-food sector"

Date Released: 06 July 2009