[Sinn Fein]

22 March 2001

Increased vigilance needed to contain outbreak

Commenting on the confirmed cases of Foot and Mouth in Co. Louth Cavan/Monaghan Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``I assure the Minister for Agriculture and Food of my continued support and that of my party for his and his Departmentís efforts to contain the foot and mouth outbreak. Todayís news that there are confirmed cases in Co. Louth is extremely worrying and a deep disappointment to all who have been working tirelessly to combat the spread of the disease, and to the community at large which has been co-operating in such a united and determined way with all the precautionary measures. Those efforts and that co-operation must now be redoubled and we all have a bounden responsibility to play our part.

``Our sympathy goes out to the families in Co. Louth who are most immediately affected by these confirmed cases. The Minister places some emphasis on the fact that this is a secondary outbreak within an existing exclusion zone. We all wish that this will remain so. Increased vigilance and full co-operation can hopefully contain this outbreak.

``Undoubtedly there is an immediate question in the minds of many as to what effect this outbreak will have on individual schedules and on whole communities. The Minister must provide speedy advices following consultation with his Department officials and the Expert Group regarding restrictions on activity and movement of people''

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