IFA Animal Health Project Team Chairman John Waters has welcomed the decision to confine the BSE testing of animals for slaughter, to cattle over 72 months from 1st July next. This change from animals over 48 months represents an annual saving of over €1.7m for Irish farmers.
Mr. Waters said the extension of the testing age to 72 months removes in excess of 85,000 animals from the BSE test requirement, and coupled with the extension from 30 months, represents total savings of over €11.7m for farmers in reduced BSE testing over the last 2 years.
The IFA Chairman said, “Only one case of BSE was identified in Ireland last year, which is a clear indication the disease has been virtually eliminated in this country. Based on the progress that has been made and the controls that were put in place, the next step must be to remove all animals born since 1997 from the test requirement which would result in further savings of approximately €5m.”
Mr Waters said the objective must now be to finally bring to an end this exorbitant cost that farmers have had to endure since the mid-1990s.