Foot-and-mouth contingency plan published


The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mr Walsh, today published a Contingency Plan and Operations Manual for the handling of any future foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks.

"We have a contingency plan and operations manuel . . . but we are also well aware that circumstances may in many respects be different next time," Mr Walsh said. "Flexibility of response is therefore vital".

The plan was produced following a review commissioned by the department into its handling of the 2001 foot-and-mouth emergency.

The Minister warned of the serious impact foot-and-mouth could have caused the country. "The adverse impact on GDP could have reached €5.6 billion with job losses of up to 12,000," he said.

The Minister also thanked those concerned with the management of the 2001 crises.