NI protocol issues remain for vet medicines

New rules adopted by the EU to allow medicines to move from Britain to NI do not apply to veterinary products.

Earlier this month the EU confirmed an exemption to the NI protocol element of the Brexit withdrawal agreement has been passed which will allow NI to continue to source human medicines from Britain.

The new rules effectively drop the requirement for human medicines to have EU approval to move into NI.

However, no solution to a similar problem for the movement of animal medicines has been put forward yet.

In February 2022, MLAs at Stormont’s agriculture committee were told up to 40% of veterinary products that are currently used in NI could be at risk when a grace period runs out at the end of this year.

Ulster Wool depot open day

An open day for sheep farmers, shearers and industry partners is to be held on Thursday 5 May at the Ulster Wool depot, 20 Tirgracy Road, Muckamore, Antrim, BT41 4PS.

The event runs from 10am to 3pm, with visitors offered a guided tour of the grading depot.

There will also be an opportunity to meet with board and committee members, as well as depot staff, and hear about the latest developments in the wool market, shearing training and wool promotion activity.

Population surge in rural areas of NI

The total population of rural areas in NI increased by 20% from 2001 to 2020, according to the new figures published by DAERA.

Rural population growth outstrips the corresponding figures for urban areas by a factor of almost three to one. From 2001 to 2020, the population of urban areas in NI rose by just 7%.

The DAERA report shows that young people from rural areas leave school with higher qualifications and are more likely to enter higher education than young people from urban areas.

People in rural areas are also more likely to be in employment, have longer life expectancy and are more likely to rate their happiness and life satisfaction as high, and their health as good.

Early EFS participants can apply again

Farmers in NI who joined the first tranche of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) can apply to re-join the scheme in the upcoming sixth tranche.

A spokesperson for DAERA confirmed that all first-tranche participants have received letters which explain the process of re-applying for EFS.

EFS agreements run for five years and participants in the first tranche are due to finish up later this year.

Applications for the sixth tranche of both the higher and wider levels of EFS will open later in 2022.