McAleer highlights equine herpes concerns

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer, pictured, has written to the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the chief vet to outline what steps DAERA is taking to ensure that those competing in horse shows in Europe do not bring equine herpes virus back to Northern Ireland.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:00 am
PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST
26/11/2020
Declan McAleer MLA, photographed at Antrim Castle Grounds today.
Photo Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 26/11/2020 Declan McAleer MLA, photographed at Antrim Castle Grounds today. Photo Pacemaker Press

Sinn Fein’s agriculture spokesperson said: “I wrote to the minister and chief vet Robert Huey following concerns raised by constituents regarding equine herpes and the possibility of those competing in horse shows in Europe bringing the virus home.

“I asked the minister and chief vet what steps the Department were taking to prevent this from happening.

“I welcome the fact that the department has been working with their colleagues in Britain and the south to ensure equine competitors are taking all necessary steps to mitigate the risk of this aggressive strain of the virus being introduced to the north.

“The International Federation for Equestrian Sports has also cancelled international events scheduled to take place in ten countries across Europe, and Horse Sport Ireland are also taking strict measures including isolation quarantine for returning horses and PCR testing.”

Mr McAleer concluded: “I would encourage all horse owners to adhere to all relevant export health certification requirements and to comply with the Equine Herpes Virus prevention protocols.”