All-Ireland movement of sheep to resume

Farmers are to be allowed to move sheep for import and export between Northern Ireland and the Republic for the first time since foot-and-mouth restrictions were applied in February.

Cross-border movement of sheep for immediate slaughter is to resume on Tuesday 31 July, one day after the recommencing of the public sale of cattle and pigs for the first time in five months.

Farmers wishing to export sheep into Eire have to ensure that their animals are identified by means of an ear tag allocated by DARD - bearing the flock number of the flock of origin and an individual number unique to the animal concerned – and that they are also accompanied by a suitable health certificate. Vehicles used for transportation have to be cleansed and disinfected and accompanied by a veterinary certificate to that effect.

Exporters must also give 72 hours advance notice to the veterinary authorities in the Republic and enter the country via one of four designated border crossing points.

Agriculture Minister Brid Rodgers said “While considerable caution still needs to be exercised in relation to prevention of further outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, this resumption of exports heralds another step on the road to full and normal commercial farming activities."

A further announcement will be made in due course in respect of movements of sheep for breeding and production purposes. (CL)

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