BSE fears very disappointing but won't affect exports - Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described the suspected BSE case in Co Louth as "disappointing, to put it mildly".
But Mr Kenny has insisted that Ireland's multi-billion Euro beef exports - including those to newly-opened markets in the USA and China - are not threatened.
Mr Kenny said he had learned of the BSE case from Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and it had come to light due to the Agriculture Department's rigorous system of monitoring and testing.
"This is an isolated incident and one we're very obviously concerned about," Mr Kenny said.
"It's a disappointment, to put it mildly, given the high level of integrity and credibility we have achieved," the Taoiseach told reporters.
Mr Kenny said contacts in Irish beef markets abroad had been told of the case and they had been fully briefed on all the precautionary measures which were put in place.
He said that in essence Ireland's cattle disease status would not now be upgraded to one of being free from monitoring and this meant the previous monitoring regime will continue. But on the other hand, Ireland's disease rating would not be worsened.
"It's a setback but it puts us back to a situation we were in," the Taoiseach said.