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Ponta Delgada ,  July 26, 2019

Regional Government invests 7.2 million Euros in animal health in three years

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry, João Ponte stated in Ponta Delgada that the Regional Government invested 7.2 million Euros in animal health between 2017 and 2019, highlighting the collaboration of producers' organisations from São Miguel for the excellent health status of regional cattle
 
“All developments we have achieved in animal health in recent years would have been much more difficult without the collaboration of São Miguel Agricultural Association and São Miguel Young Farmers' Association as well as their technical staff," said João Ponte. In this regard, he added that such evolution in terms of animal health and quality is important for Azorean agriculture not only for the prestige of regional agriculture, but also for the improvement of producers' income and the opening of new markets.
 
The government official spoke on occasion of the signing of two cooperation protocols on animal health, with automatic renewal, between the Regional Directorate for Agriculture, the Agricultural Union Cooperative and the Agricultural Youth Cooperative on São Miguel Island with a view to carrying out tests, screenings and vaccination against animal diseases such as Brucellosis, Leucosis, Tuberculosis or Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).
 
For João Ponte, the public investment in animal health carried out by the Regional Government in the current legislative term clearly demonstrates the strategic commitment that has been made. In this regard, the technical staff of the Regional Veterinary Laboratory has greatly contributed to these efforts, having conducted 4 million tests over the last three years. This year, the Government is investing half a million Euros with the acquisition of new equipment to reinforce the Laboratory's technical capacity.
 
Since 2013, the Regional Government has been signing cooperation agreements with the cooperatives of agricultural associations from São Miguel for carrying out animal health initiatives so that the human resources of the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry may focus on other tasks.
 
The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated that these interventions are expected to cover a total of 300 thousand animals by the end of 2019, involving 1,400 farms on the island of São Miguel.
 
For João Ponte, the excellent health status of the Azores, acknowledged nationally and internationally, is a major asset. In fact, it enables the free movement of animals both within and outside the country, while its maintenance entails greater responsibility.
 
Due to insurmountable natural constraints, such as the climate and soil conditions of our archipelago, João Ponte stated that the fight against compulsory eradication diseases has required increased efforts to ensure the biosafety of livestock farms as well as the management and planning of procedures, fieldwork, and human and material resources.
 
Since August 2009, six of the nine islands (Santa Maria, Graciosa, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo) have achieved the Officially Brucellosis-Free status," pointed out the government official. In this regard, he added that it is expected to complete vaccination against Bovine Brucellosis on São Miguel Island, an essential condition for the health classification of farms and the achievement of officially disease-free status.
 
In the case of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), João Ponte revealed that, currently, the average farm coverage rate is at 78%. The BVD control and eradication plan is expected to remain in force in the Azores until 2022. However, it may end earlier on some islands, such as Flores and Corvo, where the coverage rate currently stands at 100%.


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Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

 
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