Relaxation of Brucellosis controls positive step towards eradication

Wednesday, 22 October, 2014

Ulster Farmers’ Union President Ian Marshall has said that he is pleased with the Agriculture Minister’s latest announcement regarding the relaxation of Brucellosis controls from 3 November 2014 and that it is positive progress towards Northern Ireland achieving Officially Brucellosis Free (OBF). The relaxation in controls allows for an increase from 12 to 24 months in the age threshold at which cattle require a brucellosis pre-movement test and an extension in the length of the related movement window from 30 to 60 days.

Ian Marshall said: “There have been no confirmed cases of Brucellosis in Northern Ireland since February 2012 and the Agriculture Minister’s announcement signifies a rolling back process of Brucellosis controls. We are getting closer to being able to apply for Officially Brucellosis Free (OBF) status and if no further cases are reported we should be able to do this in March 2015. The Agriculture Minister’s announcement of the relaxation of Brucellosis controls highlights the successful efforts made by farmers and officials to tackle this scourge of a disease. However, should a further case of Brucellosis occur, it could undo all the good work that has been done to date and it would likely result in a further 3 years minimum before OBF status could again be applied for here.”