Government Spokesperson on Agriculture in Seanad Éireann and Fianna Fáil Senator John Carty has welcomed the news that the EU Commissioner for Public Health has proposed an increase to 48 months in the minimum age for BSE testing of animals slaughtered for human consumption as well as emergency slaughtered and fallen animals.
“This extension in the age limit is good news for farmers as it will mean significant savings for Mayo farmers who currently have to pay for BSE testing for healthy slaughtered animals aged over 30 months,” said Sen Carty.
“The Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith heard the concerns of Irish farmers regarding the cost of BSE testing and has lobbied the EU Commissioner to increase the age. Farmers were rightly concerned that the testing requirements were unjustified as the incidence of BSE in Ireland has decreased sharply in recent years. The Minister for Agriculture will now apply to the EU working group to have our surveillance programme revised and the new testing regime should be in place from early next year,” concluded Sen Carty.