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University signs €1 million 'Twinning Project' agreement with government of Malta – University of Reading

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University signs €1 million 'Twinning Project' agreement with government of Malta

Release Date 24 February 2006

the countrysideThe Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit (VEERU) from the Department of Agriculture at The University of Reading signed a one million Euro contract with the government of Malta on 9 February 2006. The contract seals the Department's agreement to deliver a European Union sponsored 'twinning project' to the Maltese Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Environment. Since Malta joined the EU in 2004 it has been required to implement all EU food safety, animal welfare and animal disease control legislation. In some areas the Maltese government has found this problematic due to the small-scale nature of its agricultural industry and its social and environmental importance to the country. The purpose of the project, entitled 'Capacity Building in the Food and Veterinary Regulation Division', is to strengthen the capacity of the Maltese Food and Veterinary Regulation Division (FVRD) to regulate farmers and other sectors of the industry. The project will therefore train not only FVRD staff, but also farmers, NGOs, animal product processors and suppliers of animal feeds and drugs. The FVRD also has a responsibility to ensure that members of the industry understand what the new regulations require of them. Dr Andrew James, the UK project leader from The University of Reading commented, 'We are very pleased to have secured the mandate in Malta which emphasises our standing as a world-leader in agricultural expertise. The project will comprise of five components that aim to improve compliance with EU legislation in the fields of animal welfare, veterinary medicines, milk quality and hygiene, animal feedstuffs and poultry slaughter plants. The knowledge available from The University of Reading will be augmented with input from the University of Bristol, ADAS and The Veterinary Medicines Directorate.' The project will run for one year and begins immediately. The first of the project's activities is a familiarization visit by the UK component leaders, followed by a workshop with their Maltese counterparts to plan and schedule all of the training activities required. End Image available on request For media enquiries please contact: Dr Andrew James, VEERU, Department of Agriculture T: 0118 378 8478 E: veeru@rdg.ac.uk Eleanor Holmes, Press Officer at the University of Reading T: 0118 378 6166 E: veeru@rdg.ac.uk

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