News - Minister Simon Coveney attends Animal Health Ireland's AGM
Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine attended Animal Health Ireland’s AGM in Buswell’s Hotel, Dublin today. The Minister said “I see Animal Health Ireland, working together with the industry, helping to play a major part in achieving the goals set out in Food Harvest. The strategy is progressing well, and the ‘Milestones for Success’ document which I published last July set out the progress made on recommendations in Food Harvest and also detailed specific actions taken by the Department and State Bodies”.
Mike Magan, Chairman of the Board of AHI said “The attendance by Minister Coveney at the AGM today is an acknowledgement by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of the important role which AHI has to play in underpinning the sustainability, competitiveness and profitability of our agricultural industry. The Minister’s attendance also provides AHI with an opportunity to acknowledge the important role that staff of the Department of Agriculture continues to play in the delivery of our work, in particular the programmes for BVD eradication, Johne’s disease control and the Somatic Cell Count reduction programme, CellCheck. ” Mr. Magan also acknowledged the vital support for AHI that has been forthcoming from its private sector stakeholders and paid particular tribute to the Chairs and members of both AHI’s various technical and implementation groups.
Joe O’Flaherty, CEO of Animal Health Ireland, who updated stakeholders and members on progress in relation to AHI’s Strategic and Business Plans, highlighted the achievements of the BVD eradication programme and CellCheck, national rollout of both of which had commenced in 2012. On BVD, he pointed to the fact that, in the voluntary phase of the programme to date, some 9,500 suckler and dairy farmers have purchased over 560,000 button tags with 375,000 results processed, of which 0.6% have tested positive. “ The two most critical elements now required to support the compulsory phase of the programme are the introduction of the necessary legislation and the putting in place of a tissue sample-enabled official ID tag for cattle”, he said. “I am glad to report that the Department has now issued the Request for Tender for the supply of bovine identity tags and that it continues to work closely with the BVD Implementation Group on the drafting of legislation.”
On the CellCheck programme, Mr. O’Flaherty reported that the CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control, which were launched by Minister Coveney in February, have been met with an encouraging uptake by AHI stakeholders. Separately, over 400 service providers have attended the first stage of training and capacity-building to date. “ A solid foundation has now been established for the next stages of the programme later this year, which will involve further training of service providers and the beginning of direct engagement with dairy farmers” concluded Mr. O’Flaherty.
Finbarr Murphy, Veterinary Ireland, Prof Michael Doherty, UCD, Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture,
Mike Magan, Chairman, Animal Health Ireland, Joe O'Flaherty, CEO, Animal Health Ireland, Dr Brian Wickham, ICBF
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