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Boost for farmers as pre-export brucellosis tests end

By Linda Stewart

Published 28/01/2016

Farmers have been given the green light to export cattle without brucellosis testing, almost four years after the last case was seen in Northern Ireland
Farmers have been given the green light to export cattle without brucellosis testing, almost four years after the last case was seen in Northern Ireland

Farmers have been given the green light to export cattle without brucellosis testing, almost four years after the last case was seen in Northern Ireland.

Until now, all breeding cattle aged over 12 months old have been required to have a valid pre-export brucellosis test.

However, Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill yesterday announced the removal of the last obstacle, saying pre-export testing will be abolished from February 1.

"I am pleased to announce the abolition of the brucellosis pre-export testing requirement from February 1," she added. "I am delighted we have reached the point where my veterinary officials are content that the programme moves in this direction."

Brucellosis is a contagious disease characterised by abortions in cattle. It can be transferred to humans with serious consequences. It is a compulsorily notifiable disease and DARD has stressed the importance of farmers reporting all abortions, stillbirths and calves dying within 24 hours of birth.

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