Seven animal carcases have tested positive for the Schmallenberg virus at regional veterinary labs to date this year, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

A total of 148 animal carcases were tested for the disease in the first three months of this year. There was one positive test for the virus out of 136 animal carcases tested in all of 2023.

A total of 277 carcases (including cattle, sheep and goats) have been tested for the bluetongue virus at the Department’s labs since the beginning of 2023, all of which have been negative.

On 12 November 2023, a ban on importing animals from the Britain to the island of Ireland was put in place due to the detection of bluetongue in England. Between 1 September 2023 and this suspension, 36 cattle and 45 sheep were imported to Ireland from the UK, according to an EU database.

Since 1 October 2023, 32 cattle, 118 sheep and one bison were imported into Ireland from mainland Europe.

All results from bluetongue tests received to date for these imports have been negative. A small number of tests remain outstanding.