I propose to take Questions Nos. 500 and 511 together.
My Department is actively progressing a herd health initiative and has consulted with the major stakeholders, including farming organisations and representatives of industry, service providers and relevant state agencies, for the purpose of developing proposals to further improve herd health in Ireland particularly in relation to non-regulated diseases.
Discussions to date with the relevant stakeholders indicate their genuine commitment to the initiative which all consider necessary for enhanced animal health and competitiveness. Discussions are continuing with the stakeholders on commitments to funding and on the necessary infrastructure that will need to be put in place to effectively drive the initiative which aims to secure improved productivity and profitability for Irish farmers and international competitiveness of Irish livestock products through a coordinated national approach to animal health by industry, other service providers and government.