“No concerns arise regarding the integrity of the commercial feed supply chain or the effectiveness of the feed control systems,” the department stated.
It pointed out test results from feed on the farm were negative for meat and bone meal – which has been banned in Ireland.
“The identification of classical BSE cases after the implementation of the ban on the feeding of meal and bone meal is not unprecedented,” it stated.
Occasionally, atypical cases are discovered which appear to occur sporadically and spontaneously within the cattle population.
Ireland’s risk for BSE had been changed from ‘controlled’ risk status to ‘negligible’ risk just days before the suspect case was discovered two weeks ago through tests on a five-year-old cow that had died on the farm of Joseph McArdle, near Louth village.
The department has pointed out that Ireland’s status is expected to revert from ‘negligible’ or effectively BSE free to ‘controlled’ risk status.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has already pointed any alteration of Ireland’s status for BSE is “unfortunate” but not a “disaster” for the industry.
EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has pointed out that isolated cases do occur across Europe from time to time.
However, he emphasised they will have no impact on Irish exports “as long as it remains an isolated case”.
“There will always be, from time to time, five or six isolated cases from the EU in relation to BSE but as long as it’s not any more than that, I think the Commission authorities are satisfied,” he said.
Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Eddie Downey said it has not had an impact on the markets for beef. He said consumers can be re-assured about the robustness of the food safety controls in place in Ireland.
John Comer, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), said the €2.2bn international market for Irish beef has been built up over decades. He said it would not be wiped out by a single isolated case.
Earlier this year, Irish beef was back on US menus for the first time in almost 16-years, and processors are hoping to develop a strong market in Asia with the reopening of the Chinese market.
However, the single positive case of BSE is unlikely to have any impact as the deals were made before Ireland’s BSE status has changed to ‘negligible’ or effectively BSE free.
Bord Bia has been in touch with international customers of Irish beef. Chief Executive Aidan Cotter has said that buyers have responded calmly to the recent isolated case, fully aware that such cases may and do reoccur from time to time and across many markets.
He said the markets were confident in the country’s rigorous control regime.
Figures for last year show agri-food exports rose by 4pc last year to a record €10.5bn.