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Minister Coveney Welcomes New BSE Testing Rules

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine,  Simon Coveney, T.D., has welcomed the EU decision to relax BSE testing rules.

The Minister 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.

Minister Coveney said 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”.

Concluding, the Minister said that “this development provided compelling evidence of the effectiveness of the measures taken over the years to control and eradicate this disease” and he thanked all concerned, including farmers, the meat industry and his own Department, for their co-operation and contribution in arriving at this situation.

Date Released: 11 January 2013