By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Coveney welcomes introduction of increase in age threshold for BSE Testing

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today confirms that the minimum age for BSE testing of healthy cattle slaughtered for human consumption will be increased to 72 months on 1st July 2011.

Welcoming the EU Commission's notification, the Minister said that this higher age for testing will deliver very significant savings to farmers who currently have to pay for the testing of healthy cattle over 48 months. Minister Coveney estimates that the number of cattle to be tested will fall by about 85,000 a year and will result in annual savings of more than 1.7m Euro in testing costs borne by farmers.

The Minister said "This latest increase in the age for BSE testing of healthy slaughter cattle acknowledges the significant fall in the number of BSE cases occurring in Ireland since 2003."

The Minister added that strict controls as specified in the relevant EU legislation will continue to apply in order to protect the health of consumers.

"Excellent progress continues to be made in the area of marketing Irish beef abroad. I am committed in my efforts to ensure that Irish beef continues to gain access to as many markets worldwide as possible" the Minister said.

Concluding the Minister said "The existing requirement to BSE test all cattle presented for emergency slaughter and all fallen animals over 48 months of age will continue."

Date Released: 22 June 2011