Inquiry launched after 'bute' found in pedigree cattle test
The Department of Agriculture have confirmed that an investigation is on-going into the alleged use of the carcinogenic painkiller, 'bute', in pedigree cattle.
It is alleged that a blood sample taken from a pedigree Limousin bull at a recent Limousin society show and sale in Roscrea showed traces of phenylbutazone, which is banned from the human food chain.
Sources within the sector this week claimed that some beef breeders were using bute as a painkiller to help animals perform in the show ring.
The drug previously hit the headlines during the horsemeat crisis last year because it is regularly used as an anti-inflammatory in the horse industry, and there were fears that it was entering the food chain.
The farmer involved is believed to be one of the leading Limousin breeders in the country.
When contacted, he declined to comment.
The Limousin society also declined to comment on the situation.
"We have to safeguard the best interests of the Limousin society," said its secretary Paul Sykes. "But I have no doubt that the society will come out of this perfect."