Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (809, 810)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

809. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost for BSE testing on fallen animals in knackeries in each of the years 2014 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44962/19]

View answer

Jackie Cahill

Question:

810. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of cases of BSE discovered in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44963/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 809 and 810 together.

No cases of BSE were identified in Ireland in 2014, 2016, 2018 and so far in 2019, with just one case identified in both 2015 and 2017 respectively.

In 2015, a case of Classical BSE was confirmed following an official sampling of a fallen animal aged 48 months and older. This sampling is one element of a comprehensive multi-layered control programme which is systematically applied in Ireland.

The same control system enabled my Department, in 2017, to confirm a case of Atypical BSE in an 18-year-old cow, also through its surveillance of fallen animals at knackeries. There were no associated public health risks with this event. The disclosure of this case of Atypical BSE has no impact on Ireland’s current OIE BSE "controlled risk" status or trade status.

Human health continues to be protected by the ante-mortem inspection of animals by veterinarians before being allowed into the food chain, and the removal and destruction of tissues shown to be capable of transmitting infection. A diminishing number of such cases have been identified in Ireland and in other countries over the years. Animal health continues to be protected by the ban on the feeding of ruminant meat and bone meal to all farmed animal species. Associated controls are in place to ensure implementation, as well as a range of further control measures. Accessing emerging beef markets in Asia requires robust assurances on BSE and this surveillance provides these assurances.

The cost for BSE testing on fallen animals in knackeries from 2014 to 2018 is shown in the table below.

BSE Testing

Cost

2014

€518,080.90

2015

€577,121.43

2016

€655,853.22

2017

€648,901.26

2018

€807,998.26

Total

€3,207,955.07