Committee calls for Compulsory Ban on Imports from Blue Tongue Restricted Areas

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 11 November 2008

Reference: AGR 02/08/09

The Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development today called for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to impose a compulsory ban on the import of susceptible animals from blue tongue restricted areas.

The Committee received noticed during its weekly meeting that 7 animals had been imported from restricted areas in the first week of November. Speaking following the meeting the Department, the Chairperson of the Committee, Dr William McCrea said, “I am disappointed that there are those that will continue to put our industry at risk through importing animals from restricted areas. It is obvious to the Committee that a voluntary scheme is not working and that a sterner approach is required to prevent the spread of this disease

“The Committee is unanimous in calling for a compulsory scheme preventing these imports. The Committee is not against imports, but believes that these should be conducted sensibly. This can only be achieved through setting out in law that imports cannot come from restricted areas”.

Dr McCrea continued, “In the meantime, I would again call on farm businesses to think about the risks the industry faces through importing bluetongue”.

ENDS

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