THE second All-island Animal Disease Surveillance Report has recently been published.
It was prepared by the veterinary diagnostic laboratories operated by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland, and by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Marine Institute in Ireland.
Production of the report supports the development of co-operation between DARD and DAFM’s official laboratories, which is one of the actions agreed by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and DAFM to help deliver the All-island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.
The report is mostly based on the assembly and analysis of data derived from voluntary diagnostic submissions by private veterinary practitioners and farmers to DAFM and DARD veterinary laboratories across the island during 2011.
Such “scanning surveillance” provides continuous monitoring of the frequency and pattern of endemic diseases on Irish farms while also providing for the early detection of exotic diseases and of new and emerging diseases of significance to Irish agriculture.
In welcoming the report, DAFM Minister Simon Coveney said: “This information can be used to enhance production efficiency at farm level by informing disease control methods.
“It also underpins the growth targets for the livestock sector in Food Harvest 2020 by substantiating the claims we make about disease freedom and assuring our customers about the high animal health and welfare and food safety standards in our food animal production systems.”
DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “I welcome this second All-Island Animal Disease Surveillance Report produced jointly by AFBI and DAFM’s veterinary laboratories.
“Effective cross-border animal disease surveillance systems are essential to underpin the livestock sector and help our dynamic indigenous agri-food sector on the island of Ireland.”
Copies of the report are available on the AFBI website at: www.afbini.gov.uk/all-islandanimaldiseasesurveillancereport2011.htm