Vets and farmers play key role in acheiving Northern Ireland Brucellosis Free status

Following the EU declaration that Northern Ireland is Officially Brucellosis Free (OBF) (9 September) the British Veterinary Association and BVA Northern Ireland Branch commend the hard work of farmers, ministers and local vets in eradicating this disease affecting both animals and humans from Northern Ireland.

Veterinary surgeons play a vital role in the surveillance, control and research into animal diseases and diseases of public health significance and BVA and BVA Northern Ireland Branch caution that there is no room for complacency from the organisations and individuals involved in the health and welfare of livestock.

BVA President John Blackwell said:

“This is a welcome announcement and we congratulate our vet colleagues in Northern Ireland for their part in achieving OBF status, it’s taken a real and collaborative effort and commitment of vets, farmers, and government ministers and officials, including former Chief Veterinary Officer Bert Houston and current CVO Robert Huey to eradicate the disease.

“We now encourage all vets and farmers to continue to be ever vigilant against the incursion of disease and ensure all the correct biosecurity measures are still kept in place. We also hope that the rest of Britain looks to this proven example as a way of controlling and eradicating other infectious diseases that impact on both animals and humans.”

Simon Doherty President of BVA Northern Ireland Branch said:

“This is a significant milestone for everyone working with livestock in Northern Ireland and we strongly support the CVO’s comments on the need for farmers to keep up the excellent standards of biosecurity they have achieved and local vets will continue to work with farmers to maintain those standards and to ensure disease surveillance as well remains of the highest standard.”

The eradication of Brucellosis from Northern Ireland will save the public £15 million a year.

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