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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

BSE case in Scotland will not impact Northern Ireland’s Negligible Risk status

Cows in a green field on a sunny day

Image: Anne Kelly

Agriculture Minister Andrew Muir has provided reassurance that the discovery of a case of classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Scotland will not impact Northern Ireland’s negligible risk status.

The announcement comes following news that the Scottish Government has confirmed a case of classical BSE on a farm in Ayrshire.

Minister Muir said:

“The confirmation of a positive case of classical BSE is rare and while it is disappointing it proves the controls on BSE surveillance are sufficiently robust, rigorous and are effective at identifying issues as early as possible.

“At this stage there are no links to Northern Ireland and this finding will not impact on Northern Ireland’s BSE risk status."

Investigations are ongoing to identify the origin of the case and movement restrictions have been put in place. Movement of cattle from Great Britain to Northern Ireland has already been restricted since the discovery of Bluetongue in cattle in England in November.

Minister Muir added:

“Working with the Food Standards Agency we have stringent controls in meat plants and animal feed companies to ensure the safety of the food chain in Northern Ireland and that beef from Northern Ireland is safe to eat.

“Contaminated feed can be a cause of BSE and I would urge farmers to ensure they source feed responsibly and are compliant with relevant Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) legislation including maintaining proper records of food supplied.

“My officials will continue to engage with colleagues in the Scottish Government and I have asked to be kept updated on developments as the investigations into the case continue.” 


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