The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has welcomed the EU decision to relax BSE testing rules.
Minister Simon Coveney said that, based on scientific analysis and taking into account the declining incidence of BSE, the effect of the decision is that it will no longer be necessary to test healthy animals at slaughter for BSE in Ireland. Testing for fallen cattle over 48 months will remain unchanged. The new rules are expected to take effect from 1 April 2013, with the current testing regime continuing to apply in the interim.
He added that “this decision will deliver savings of approximately €5m per annum to the agriculture industry, including farmers. The number of such animals currently tested every year amounts to about 230,000”.