Minister Killeen Welcomes Significant Increase In Age Limit For BSE Testing
Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (with special responsibility for Fisheries and Forestry), has welcomed the agreement of the EU Commissioner for Public Health, Androulla Vassiliou to a proposed increase in the minimum age for BSE testing.
[ClickPress, Wed Sep 17 2008] The increase relates to animals slaughtered for human consumption as well as emergency slaughtered and fallen animals to 48 months.
The Clare T.D. said that an increase of the minimum age for testing to 48 months would deliver significant savings to farmers who currently pay to have healthy slaughtered animals over 30 months tested for BSE.
He continued, ‘the current testing requirements are unjustified when one considers the significant progress made in reducing the incidence of the disease in Ireland, from a high of 333 cases in 2003 to 25 last year and 12 to date in 2008.’
Minister Killeen said that the next step was for the applications from Member States to have their surveillance programmes revised to be considered by an EU Working Group over the next week.
‘I am confident, based on the reduction in the disease in Ireland and the extensive controls in place, that Ireland’s application will be approved and that the new testing regime may even be in place from early 2009’, he said.
Minister Killeen complimented the Minister for Agriculture and Food for his efforts to have the age limit increased.
‘From the outset of his appointment Minister Brendan Smith has continually identified the increase in the age limit for BSE testing as a priority. One of the first things he did as Minister was to write to the EU Commissioner and he has taken every opportunity since to press the Commissioner to increase the age limit, particularly when he had met Commissioner Vassiliou at meetings of the EU Agriculture Council’, stated the Junior Agriculture Minister.
Notes to Editor:
- Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (with special responsibility for Fisheries and Forestry), is available for interview and further comment on 0035387-2525304. Alternatively please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available
Dunphy Public Relations