IMMEDIATE re-introduction of compulsory quarantine for all imported animals has been called for by IFA as a safeguard against unwelcome infectious diseases in livestock.
IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Michael Doran told farmers at a Limerick IFA meeting at Adare, “There are importers of animals who are willing to work for €5/head and don’t show any regard for the risks involved for livestock farmers, we have to make it more difficult for these people to operate.”
“Quarantine for all imported animals has to be re-introduced as a matter of urgency and I am not concerned that it is going to cost these people, because it is the status of our national herd that is at stake.”
He said that there is widespread concern among farmers as to the implications for the livestock sector if bluetongue gets into this country.
It is understood that the Department of Agriculture are considering the use of two islands — one off the Dublin coast and the other off the Cork coast — for quarantine use to reduce the threat of bluetongue spread to Ireland.
While the infection can be carried into the country by certain species of midge, the more likely means of spread is through imports.
The infection has spread widely in Europe.
In recent years, a number of diseases, which are now becoming widespread in the livestock herd, were brought into this country, and many farmers now coping with these infections in their herds blame the lifting of quarantine regulations.
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