Suspected outbreak of BSE on farm in County Louth

A suspected case of BSE on a farm in County Louth has been confirmed by Ireland’s Department of Agriculture today.  

The case has been identified by the Department’s ongoing surveillance system on animals which die on the farm. The five-year-old cow  had not been taken to slaughter, and had not entered the food chain.

Further diagnostic tests are taking place, the results of which will be known in around a week’s time. If confirmed, this will the first case of BSE in Ireland since 2013. It is not known how the animal contracted the disease, but a full investigation is underway. 

‘If, as expected, the tests confirm this to be a classical case of BSE, this may impact on Ireland’s recently awarded ’negligible risk status’ from the World Organisation for Animal Health,” said a Department spokesperson. “In this case Ireland will revert to ‘controlled risk status’ which applied up to last week and which facilitated trade to a wide range of international markets. It will also result in the continuation of the existing range of controls for a further number of years.” 

BSE cases in Ireland since 2002

Year of diagnosis Passive surveillance Fallen Stock Healthy Slaughter Casualty Slaughter Cohort, progeny Totals
2002 108 183 34 4 4 333
2003 40 106 31 4 1 182
2004 31 75 19 0 1 126
2005 9 47 12 1 0 69
2006 5 30 6 0 0 41
2007 4 15 6 0 0 25
2008 3 16 3 0 1 23
2009 0 5 4 0 0 9
2010 0 1 1 0 0 2
2011 0 3 0 0 0 3
2012 0 3 0 0 0 3
2013 0 1 0 0 0 1
2014 to date 0 0 0 0 0 0

Source: Department of Agriculture

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