Dáil Éireann - Volume 482 - 18 November, 1997
Written Answers. - BSE Incidence.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
74. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the total number of cases of BSE reported to date in 1997; the number of cattle slaughtered in this regard; the likely impact of the most recent scientific information linking BSE infected beef to a new form of CJD; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19416/97]
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
125. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will give details of the number of new BSE cases diagnosed in 1997; the number of animals slaughtered as a result; the cost incurred in processing these cases and compensating the owners of animals destroyed as a consequence of BSE outbreaks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19489/97]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh) Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh)
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 and 125 together.
At the end of October, 65 cases of BSE have been confirmed this year in herds in Ireland. This resulted in the slaughter and destruction of 7,160 cattle in accordance with my Department's policy of depopulating herds in which a case of BSE has occurred. During the examination of the brains which takes place as a matter of course in the case of adult cattle from depopulated herds and other animals slaughtered under the BSE policy, a further three brains out of 4,453 brains examined in respect of 1997 depopulations, have been found to be positive for BSE. Almost £8.7 million has been spent to date in 1997 on BSE controls (other than staff costs) of which £6.8 million has been spent on compensation for herd depopulation. The remaining amount has been spent on the purchase of the cohorts and progeny of the positive animals, compensation for animals which have proved to be negative for the disease, the purchase of UK imports, and slaughtering, rendering and storage costs related to the disposal of the depopulated herds and other cattle.
Stringent controls are in place in Ireland to ensure the safety of Irish beef which go beyond those recommended by the relevant international organisations. In particular, there has been a requirement since February 1997 to have specified risk material removed from carcases after slaughter and disposed of under strict criteria. I am confident that these controls remove any risk to the consumer as far as Irish beef is concerned.
Dáil Éireann 482 Written Answers. BSE Incidence.