Second botulism outbreak in west Limerick
Livestock farmers in the mid-west are on a state of high alert after the deadly disease botulism struck herds in the area for the second time in less than 15 months.
Urgent meetings with the Department of Agriculture and Limerick Co Council are being sought by local IFA representatives after farmers in west Limerick reported a spate of livestock losses due to the dreaded disease.
"We are very concerned that herds are at risk again and farmers' livelihoods are at stake. An outbreak of botulism caused major problems in the county last year and losses are now being reported again," Limerick IFA chairman, Eddie Scanlan said.
"We are going to have to have much tighter controls on what can be done with the litter from broiler houses," he added.
Losses reported from a small number of farms in recent weeks have led to a widespread alert over the area and much tighter controls on poultry litter disposal.
Josie Ahern from Rathkeale, Co Limerick -- who lost several animals to the disease last year -- said that the new outbreak has been confirmed by vets.
Pat Culhane, from Cappagh, Askeaton said that losses have occurred in his area although litter was not used on any of the affected farms.
Serious livestock losses were also reported in 2009 in counties Waterford, Kilkenny, Cork, Dublin and the midlands.