Cattle BSE testing age rises to 72 months
The minimum age for BSE testing of healthy cattle killed for human consumption is to rise to 72 months this Friday following a risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority.
By raising the age from the current 48 months, the Department of Agriculture estimates that farmers will save €1.7m a year in testing fees, which are currently €20/animal.
Minister Simon Coveney said that his Department was able to change the limit because of the significant fall in the number of BSE cases in Ireland since 2003. There have only been three cases so far this year, compared with 333 in 2002.
"The 72-month rule is a step in the right direction and should be followed by setting a specific birth date after which animals should no longer be tested," said the ICMSA's Kevin Connolly.