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BVA looks forward to Officially Brucellosis Free EU declaration for Northern Ireland

BVA | British Veterinary Association

2 min read Partner content

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Northern Ireland Branch have welcomed the announcement today that Stormonts Department of Agriculture is to apply to the European Union for Northern Ireland cattle to be declared free of the disease brucellosis.

The Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has commented that it is three years since the last confirmed case of the disease.

Officially Brucellosis Free (OBF) status would mean that control measures can be reduced, which means reduced costs for farmers in Northern Ireland.

BVA President and cattle vet John Blackwell commented:

“This is welcome news indeed for our veterinary colleagues and farmers in Northern Ireland and clearly demonstrates what can be achieved by vets, farmers and government working in partnership to tackle what is a serious disease, which can of course be transmitted to humans. While we congratulate our colleagues in Northern Ireland, they would also be the first to recognise that this is not a time to be complacent and there is a need to continue surveillance to maintain disease freedom. ”

Simon Doherty President of BVA’s Northern Ireland Branch said:

“This is a significant milestone for veterinary surgeons and the farming community in Northern Ireland. We are cautiously optimistic that Northern Ireland will be declared OBF and this will be a testament to how vets, farmers and government in Northern Ireland determinedly set out to eradicate this disease. It will significantly reduce costs for cattle farmers. However, while we are right to be pleased about this recent news, we also know that there is still some way to go before we achieve OBF status and that we need to continue to ensure compliance with current testing requirements. Looking positively to the future, BVA and BVA Northern Ireland Branch will contribute to the proposed department consultation on reducing brucellosis control measures in Northern Ireland.”

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