Call for action as up to 30 animals die in suspected botulism outbreaks in Kildare and Meath
Suspected botulism outbreaks are understood to be under investigation following animal deaths on farms in Meath and Kildare.
The cost of the outbreak in Kildare is being put at between €25,000 and €30,000 and it is believed to have been the worst case in this country for a considerable period.
Veterinary laboratory tests have confirmed botulism was found in a number of carcases of animals from a farm in Kildare where it is understood nearly 20 animals died.
Meanwhile, botulism is suspected to be the cause of death of up to 10 animals on two farms in Meath in recent weeks.
The Farming Independent has been unable to get confirmation on reported cases from other parts of the country, because botulism is not legally notifiable in Ireland but the Department of Agriculture website still states that "cases should be reported".
Botulism, which is usually associated with poultry litter, is rated the most deadly known toxin in the world.
It is so deadly, that "sniffing 13 billionths of a gram can be lethal", and once ingested by an animal is fatal within hours.
The Department of Agriculture officials visited the farm in Co Kildare, inspected the animals and made special arrangements for disposal of carcases. Monitoring of the movement of 'clean' animals is continuing.