Brucellosis outbreak confirmed

June 15, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

An outbreak of brucellosis in a cattle herd in south Armagh may have been caused by ‘criminal practices’ Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew has said.

The Department of Agriculture confirmed the outbreak – which is believed to be in the Keady area – on Friday.

Ms Gildernew said there were “indications that irresponsible and even criminal practices are at the heart of this cluster of infection, with decent farmers having to suffer the consequences.”

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said such behaviour “shows a total lack of responsibility and those guilty of such acts need to be brought to book”.

“Such activity endangers the  Brucellosis Control Programme throughout the island of Ireland.  Many herds have had to be destroyed, bringing heartache to many farmers who have worked diligently over decades to build up their stock.

“This type of damage cannot be put right overnight but takes years to rectify,`’ he said.