What controls are in place to tackle BSE?
There are a layers of strict controls in place in Ireland at all levels to monitor the diseases, keep specified risk material from the human and animal feed chain, and prevent cattle accessing meat and bone meal in feed.
The Cattle Movement Monitoring System (CMMS) tracks the location of all animals in the national herd.
Under an active surveillance programme, brain samples are taken from the carcases of all cattle that die on farms which are over 48 months of age.
All animals are examined and verified before slaughter at all abattoirs.
A post-mortem examination is carried out on all beef carcasses.
All cattle over 30 months of age are screened using an approved test.
All high-risk specified risk material (SRM), including the brain and spinal cord, is removed and destroyed at the abbatoir.
Checks are carried out by veterinary inspectors to ensure removal of SRM has been thoroughly carried out.
The separation, staining, and separate storage and processing of all SRM ensures its total exclusion from the human and animal food and feed chains.
The processing of all SRM in a high temperature, high-pressure process at designated high-risk facilities is supervised by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
All meat and bone meal products are excluded from the animal feed chain.
As part of a passive surveillance programme, veterinary surgeons and farmers are alerted to the symptoms of the disease and reminded of their obligations to report all suspect animals.