Since 2010, post-mortem examinations by the Department of Agriculture’s veterinary laboratory service have detected the disease in 33 cases in Cork, 20 in Roscommon, 16 in Kilkenny , 15 in Meath, 13 in Westmeath, 13 in Offaly, 10 in Galway, 8 in Laois, 8 in Wexford, 6 in Sligo, 5 in Tipperary, 5 in Limerick, 5 in Donegal, 5 in Mayo, 4 in Louth, 3 in Clare, 2 in Kerry, 2 in Kildare, 2 in Cavan, 2 in Longford, and one each in Dublin, Leitrim, and Monaghan.
“Mycoplasma bovis has no implications for public health, food safety or international trade.
“Therefore this infectious disease is not regulated in Ireland or the EU and as such, my Department does not have a specific strategy for containing it,” said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed in the Dail, responding to a question from Sinn Fein TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Martin Kenny.
The Minister said M bovis is now considered to be endemic in the Irish cattle population.
It is occasionally associated with respiratory disease, arthritis and mastitis in infected cattle.
Infection in cattle is generally amenable to treatment and control when outbreaks occur, with appropriate professional and laboratory supports. This infectious disease is not regulated in Ireland or the EU.
Diagnosis, treatment, control and prevention of non-regulated or “production” diseases of animals is a matter for animal keepers and their veterinary practitioners.
However, the Department of Agriculture has a role in providing a veterinary laboratory diagnostic service, field investigation of new and emerging disease problems, advice on disease prevention and control, and support for Animal Health Ireland in developing and disseminating educational materials for farmers and vets.