Donohue alarmed by latest FMD outbreak

Bernard Donohue, Roscommon IFA County Chairman, said the latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the UK is most alarming.  He said the IFA and its members are totally committed to all emergency measures to prevent foot-and-mouth disease reaching this country. Mr. Donohue said the latest outbreak in the UK, which comes six weeks after the original Surrey outbreak, highlights the highly infectious and virulent nature of foot-and-mouth disease.  He pointed out that this timeframe is a lot longer than it takes to transport beef from Brazil which is one of the control measures the EU rely on. Mr. Donohue said foot-and-mouth disease is endemic in Brazil and the European Union is taking unnecessary risks with the importation of 330,000 tonnes on an annual basis. He pointed out that the USA, Japan and a number of other counties are not prepared to take the risk involved with Brazilian beef imports. Reacting to the announcement, Deputy Denis Naughten said, ‘The Agriculture Minister deserves credit for her response to the outbreaks to date but I would urge her to take an especially strong interest in the measures being taken in the UK now. It is vital that we are certain that every effort to contain the disease is being made in order to prevent its spread into Ireland which would be devastating for agriculture and for the wider economy. ‘This new outbreak leads me to reiterate my call for a National Biosecurity Committee to continually monitor all available information and assess the risk of diseases coming into this country and spreading to the animal or human population. Ireland should be aiming for the highest level of biosecurity and the elimination of any risky practices which would let a disease such as FMD into this country including, for example, a ban on Brazilian beef until FMD is eradicated in that country.’