Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 23 September 2017

Department of Agriculture confirm case of 'Atypical' BSE discovered

Stock Photo. Picture: PA Photo/Chris Bacon
Stock Photo. Picture: PA Photo/Chris Bacon
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that it has identified a case of ‘Atypical BSE’ in an 18 year old cow, through its surveillance of ‘fallen’ animals (died on farm) at knackeries.

The animal tested positive on a screening test carried out at a Department approved, accredited private laboratory over the weekend and was then subject to follow up confirmatory tests at the Department’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.

A Department spokesperson said there are no associated public health risks with this event – a comprehensive set of public health controls are in place and the animal in this case was excluded from the food chain and its carcass will be incinerated.

He also said that the disclosure of this case of Atypical BSE does not have any impact of Ireland’s current OIE BSE 'controlled risk' status or trade status.

The animal in question is understood to be 18 years old and died on a farm.

Atypical BSE is different to 'classical' BSE in that classical BSE (which was the basis of the extensive incidence of BSE which commenced some in the 1980s) was associated with the feeding of meat-and-bone meal, where scientific evidence indicates that BSE is acquired in the first year of life.

Atypical BSE which has been identified more recently and which is thought to occur spontaneously.

Atypical BSE occurs sporadically in older animals with a low incidence rate. It was first recognised in the early 2000s in Europe following the large scale testing of livestock for BSE that was put in place at that time.

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There have been 101 atypical BSE cases identified in the European Union during the period 2003 to 2015. This compares to a total of 2,999 cases of classical BSE during the same period.

Cases have occurred at a very low and relatively constant level over the entire period, ranging from two to eleven cases per year.

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