The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has identified a suspected BSE case in County Louth through its surveillance system on animals that have died on farms.
In a statement issued today, the Department clarified that the animal had not been presented for slaughter and at no point entered the food chain.
Tests are currently being undertaken on the body of the five-year-old cow to confirm the presence of BSE and if the results are positive, this will be the first BSE case in Ireland since 2013.
The Department is also undertaking a full investigation into the case, and is keeping relevant national and international organisations and the European Commission. The investigation will include an examination of the birth cohort and progeny of the cow involved
Should the tests confirm this to be a case of BSE, Ireland could lose its recently awarded “negligible risk status” from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), reverting to “controlled risk status”, which applied up until last week and facilitated trade to different international markets.
The case is also likely to result in the continuation of the existing range of controls to prevent BSE contamination for a few more years.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine concluded by saying that slaughter plants follow strict measures to prevent the food chain being contaminated by BSE. All animals to be slaughtered must be examined by a veterinary inspector beforehand, and any tissues where there is a risk of BSE contamination are removed from all slaughtered bovines over 48 months of age.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.