O’Neill confirms deadline extension for TB Strategic Partnership Group

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Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has confirmed that the TB Strategic Partnership Group has requested an extension on its deadline to submit its TB eradication strategy and implementation action plan.

Minister O’Neill said: “I am very encouraged by the work of the TB Strategic Partnership Group. The TBSPG Chair, Sean Hogan, has written to advise me that it is not possible for the TBSPG to meet the 31 December 2015 deadline for the production of their TB Eradication Strategy and Implementation Action Plan.

“I have, therefore, agreed to an extension of several months to allow the TBSPG secure some independent socio-economic analysis of possible options and recommendations.

“I am fully aware of the complexity and the importance of the task the Group is undertaking. I accept that the Group wish to ensure that they fully examine the key issues informing the Strategy and Implementation Plan to secure the best possible outcome.”

Minister O’Neill has requested Mr Hogan to write to her again in March 2016 to provide an update on progress with an indication of when the TBSPG expect their final report to be available.