All-island welfare plan gets green light
Animal health agreement
Momentum is building towards an all-island animal health and welfare strategy after the initiative took a major step forward last week when it was formally agreed at the North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC) meeting in Hillsborough.
The NSMC meeting on agriculture and rural development agreed to the strategy, paving the way to discussing it with key industry stakeholders from across Ireland next week.
A gathering of cross-border animal health and welfare stakeholders takes place in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan on Monday next, and the main speaker at the event will be the EU Commissioner for health and consumer policy, Mr John Dalli.
"North-South co-operation on animal health and welfare issues has the potential to help reduce and prevent the spread of animal disease as well as facilitate trade and improve the sustainability of farming," said Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew.
"The free movement of animals on the island is a key priority and the All-Island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy is certainly the right vehicle to take this forward.
"We can now look ahead to the cross-border animal health and welfare stakeholder event. We will be bringing together key stakeholders from both jurisdictions for the first time to discuss the delivery of the strategy," she added.
"This will be a milestone event for the strategy and I am very eager to hear as many viewpoints as possible on how we can implement today's plans."