Bovine spongiform encephalopathy,
Information received on 22/05/2020 from Dr Martin Blake, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Agriculture House, Dublin, Ireland
Report type Immediate notification (Final report)
Date of start of the event 12/05/2020
Date of confirmation of the event 13/05/2020
Report date 22/05/2020
Date submitted to OIE 22/05/2020
Date event resolved 22/05/2020
Reason for notification Recurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 18/01/2017
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent BSE prion
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Fethard, Tipperary
Date of start of the outbreak 12/05/2020
Outbreak status Resolved (22/05/2020)
Epidemiological unit Farm
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Cattle 9 1 1 8 0
Affected population One case animal. There are 8 susceptible animals: 6 cohorts and 2 progeny. All susceptible animals were culled and tested negative for BSE.
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Cattle 9 1 1 8 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Cattle 11.11% 11.11% 100.00% 100.00%
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments On the 13/05/2020, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) was advised of a positive result to a rapid screening test carried out by an accredited private laboratory approved by the competent authority. The suspect animal was sampled by DAFM staff as part of the ongoing official sampling of all fallen animals of 48 months and older. The sample material and brain were subsequently forwarded to the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) where samples from different brain areas were subject to confirmatory testing using an OIE approved confirmatory western blot method, a two-blot protocol for the classification of BSE isolates. All the samples had an identical molecular pattern indicating atypical H type BSE. In accordance with NRL protocols, samples from the animal were then sent for histopathology and immunohistochemistry on the medulla of the brain. Final confirmatory test results were received from the NRL on 22nd of May 2020 confirming the case to be atypical H type BSE. The cow involved in this case was a 14-year-old Limousin cow born on the 8th of March 2006. There are 73 cattle on the animal identification and movement register for the herd. The herd is a suckler herd. The cow remained in that herd until her death on Saturday May 9th. The cow had had a history of neurological signs which were first noted at the end of March 2020, where the cow became ataxic and recumbent, but got back on her feet with some assistance. A further such episode occurred in April 2020, and again on Saturday May 9th. The farmer intended to call his private veterinary surgeon (PVP) to look at the animal at that time, but she had died before he had the opportunity to call his PVP. The cow was well conditioned, up to her death.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Movement control inside the country
  • Official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste
  • Stamping out
  • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (National laboratory) Cattle histopathological examination 19/05/2020 Positive
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (National laboratory) Cattle immunohistochemical test 18/05/2020 Positive
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (National laboratory) Cattle western blot 19/05/2020 Positive
Enfer (Private Laboratory) Cattle rapid tests 13/05/2020 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is resolved. No more reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations