DAERA has regained control of the main policy areas related to animal and plant health in NI, a department spokesperson has confirmed.

Last month, new post Brexit legislation came into effect which saw 19 pieces of EU legislation come under the control of the UK government’s Environment Secretary Steve Barclay.

Under the terms of the Windsor Framework (Implementation) Regulations, powers related to the likes of bovine TB, bluetongue, and avian influenza moved away from local Agriculture Minister Andrew Muir.

However, a DAERA spokesperson confirmed that Environment Secretary Steve Barclay “has exercised his discretion to not retain direction and control” over key policy areas.

This includes awareness, preparedness and control of animal and plant disease in NI.

“These areas are once again under Minister Muir’s responsibility as a result of the hand back,” the DAERA spokesperson said.

London has kept control of some powers under the new regulations, which mainly relates to issues that could affect the movement of goods going between Britain and NI.

This includes operational arrangements at NI ports, policy development that could impact internal UK trade, and new EU laws that replace regulations listed in the Windsor Framework.