Suspected case of BSE in County Louth
A suspected case of BSE (Mad Cow Disease) is being investigated in Louth.
The Department of Agriculture have confirmed that they are investigating a suspected case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) at an as yet unknown farm in Louth.
The animal was identified as a potential case through the Department's inspection programme for animals which die on Irish farms and they confirm that the animal did not enter the food chain.
Speaking to independent.ie, local TD and former minister Fergus O'Dowd said: "This is very worrying and is deeply concerning for the sector."
The potential impact of a confirmed case would be large. Ireland only recently received "negligible risk status” from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). A confirmed case would see us moved back to "controlled risk status" and that will see greater controls imposed on farmers and on exports.
Only this year Irish beef was allowed back in the major markets of USA and China.
It will take a week to confirm if it is a genuine case of BSE.
The dairy cow was five years old and it is suspected that the BSE was obtained through feed which may have been eaten many years ago so tracing the feed, the other animals that ate it and the calves of the cow.