AN environmental group has called for cattle to be kept away from rivers and lakes to prevent them polluting beaches.
Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) made the call for buffer zones around waterways after two blue flag beaches in west Cork, Tragumna and Kilcrohane, were closed to swimmers in the last week due to high levels of E coli.
The two beaches were closed last Thursday but reopened yesterday after further tests.
FIE said in a statement that under current regulations there was no exclusion zone for cattle even though their faeces could contaminate water with E coli and cryptosporidium.
It noted the European Centre for Disease Control said "Ireland's rate of the water-borne E coli infection is higher than any other country in Europe".