Call for Bluetongue Controls Review

US - The Ulster Farmers’ Union says livestock import procedures need to be reviewed following fresh outbreaks of Bluetongue in Great Britain.
calendar icon 3 January 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Bluetongue disease has spread relentlessly across the Northern European livestock industry in the past two years and in 2007 the first outbreaks were recorded in GB. The UFU says a recent outbreak in South West Scotland, involving an imported animal from Germany, demonstrates that the current controls in place to prevent the disease emerging in Northern Ireland need to be reviewed.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said; “Over the Christmas period the disease emerged in Scotland in an imported German animal. That situation has been contained but it calls into question whether the current import controls are sufficient. Outbreaks of Bluetongue in GB, where the disease has been introduced with imported animals, serve as a warning that we face a genuine risk of the disease being brought into Northern Ireland. We will be raising our concerns on this issue with DARD. We need to look again at how we monitor and handle imported livestock; lessons need to be learned quickly from these recent outbreaks”.

Kenneth Sharkey added; “The local industry must remain vigilant against the constant threat of Bluetongue. There is an onus on everyone in the industry to take precautions to protect Northern Ireland from the disease. Bluetongue can cause mortality in livestock or serious production losses; and an outbreak in Northern Ireland could potentially lead to export restrictions”.

Further Reading

       - You can visit our Bluetongue information page by clicking here.

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