Other News In Brief

Arrests As Heroin Seized In Castlereagh

Two people have been arrested and a quantity of suspected heroin taken off the streets in Castlereagh.

Police said a "proactive" stop and search on Wednesday evening, 27 November led to the discovery of the substance, valued between £1000 and £1500.

A vehicle was seized and premises searched as a result.

The pair have been arrested on suspicion of a number of drugs related offences.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "There's no place in our, or any, community for this poison and with your support we can continue to get results like this.

"Together we can drive it out."

UFU Stress Urgent Need For Measures To Eradicate TB

New policy measures to address the issue of tuberculosis in wildlife alongside cattle should be urgently implemented, the Ulster Farmers' Union has said.

The comments were made following the publication of the DAERA's TB Annual Report 2018 which showed a 3.9% reduction in skin reactors, a 5.4% fall in TB reactor herds, and the number of herds under restriction at the end of December 2018 was also down 3.5%.

While the minor decline is a small positive for the industry, it is of little comfort to farmers as the bacterial infection continues to run rampant in the countryside.

UFU deputy president, David Brown said: "Any decline in TB figures is a step forward but these results show we are only skimming the surface. So much more can and needs to be done to eradicate the disease in Northern Ireland but with no Executive, the progress of our industry is suffering. New policy measures to address TB cannot be implemented without a ministerial directive. We urgently need a minister and politicians in place to make these decisions. Their absence has brought the development of the agriculture industry to an absolute standstill and is putting the livelihoods of our farmers at risk."
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The report also revealed that 16.5% of badgers submitted as part of the Road Traffic Accident survey were positive for TB. The UFU has long held the position that in order to eradicate TB, there must be meaningful action to control the disease in wildlife in a way that is evidence based and cost effective.

"The data in DAERA's report shows there is a high risk of badgers spreading bovine TB, stressing the need for new policy measures that include biosecurity and wildlife. It is only by addressing this disease wherever it resides, that we can move closer to our goal of eradication while protecting cattle across NI. Until such changes have been initiated, our farmers are being left to try and prevent the disease from infecting their herds by upholding a policy that is not capable of delivering eradication as it fails to address all sources of infection," concluded Mr Brown.

DfI Slammed For Removing Faulty Streetlights

Streetlights that no longer work have been removed rather than repaired from the Antrim and Newtownabbey area, it has emerged.

Alliance Councillor for the area Tom Campbell hit out at the Department for Infrastructure after it confirmed it would remove faulty lights on unadopted roads before they would be repaired.

Cllr Campbell pressed government officials on the matter at a recent council meeting.

He said: "A number of constituents have approached me recently concerned about this apparent practice by the DFI – they have complained about streetlights not working and instead of repairing and replacing them, DFI removes them entirely and tarmacs over the area because it's a road not adopted by the Department.

"I asked directly during this presentation and it was confirmed. That is a concerning position to have, given the amount of unadopted roads across Northern Ireland, particularly in more rural areas and in new developments. As an elected representative, I am apprehensive now to report faulty streetlights in case they end up disappearing."

Cllr Campbell said the practice must be reviewed.

He concluded: "I have now written to the Secretary of State to ask him to review this policy, as it appears to have been taken without political direction. We are in a situation now where one street in an area may have its streetlights repaired and another nearby street is at the risk of having them removed entirely."


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