This register would then allow the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to consider using provisions under current European law to exempt certain categories of animals, including breeds at risk, from culling during outbreaks providing that disease control measures were not jeopardised.
The decision to exempt animals from culling would be based on the outcome of a veterinary risk assessment which would consider the situation on individual premises as well as other factors such as wider disease control measures and impact on trade.
The government has now written to all livestock and poultry keepers registered on the APHIS database to give them the opportunity to register their rare breed animals and poultry on the Northern Ireland Breeds at Risk Register.
Registration on the NIBARR is voluntary and free of charge to owners. A letter explaining the criteria for inclusion on the register and providing a registration form for completion should be received this week. Keepers are asked to return the form to their local DARD Direct Office by Friday November 23.
For those who do not receive a form, it can be download from the DARD website at http://www.dardni.gov.uk/breeds-at-risk or alternatively phone 028 9052 4008 to request a form.