If the case is confirmed, it would be the first instance of BSE found in Ireland since 2013.
The find is potentially devastating for the Irish beef industry, which has recently been awarded the status of “negligible risk’. This may be downgraded to “controlled risk” by the World Organisation for Animal Health.
BSE is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease commonly referred to as “mad cow disease”. It spreads into cattle heards via animal feed containing infected material, likely offal, which includes brain or nervous system tissue from animals that succumbed to the disease.
BSE, which was discovered in 1985, can be transmitted to humans.