The was it or wasn’t it possible canine brucellosis outbreak in Southern Ireland will fade into memory because the Irish Government did not have legislation in place so nobody dealt with it. The UK Government is heavily into legislation and the following is proposed
This new body would have responsibility for animal health, especially the prevention and control of diseases and there is until June 30th 2009 to give your views. The Government’s plans would require everyone to declare annually the number of animals kept & pay a levy to fund disease prevention and control. People with very few animals would not have to pay a levy but the requirement to make an annual return would apply to all keepers of livestock.
The Government is also considering a compulsory insurance scheme to meet the costs of disease outbreak which would be paid for by the owners of animals. As with all consultation documents the wording is very lengthy but gamebirds are certainly mentioned as “livestock” that would require annual returns and horses are mentioned in the compulsory insurance scheme. Dogs don’t appear to come into it on first read but animals caught by the zoonosis regulations do and canine brucellosis is a listed zoonosis. Also a lot of “licenced animal” mentions are in there; is that a lion or a dog belonging to an owner with a breeders licence?
There have been many requests for a further update on the suspected Canine Brucellosis outbreak in a huge breeding establishment in Southern Ireland. There has even been an accusation that it was a total non story and the reports were just causing trouble. The one thing it isn’t is a “non story”
The two animal welfare societies that initially reported the outbreak stand by their story unfortunately the antiquated Irish Animal Welfare laws then came into play. None of the relevant authorities would take respnsibility for checking further with each saying it was the responsibility of somebody else so it will just disappear into the mists of time.
Canine Brucellosis is a notifiable disease is large parts of the US, Australia and some parts of the EU. In the UK the laboratory isolation of any species of the genus Brucella must be reported (The Zoonoses Order 1989).
With less than a month to go until the Irish Kennel Club hosted European Winners Show in Dublin an outbreak of Canine Brucellosis has been announced in Southern Ireland. This is a notifiable disease and a zoonosis (can be caught by humans). By current EU law if an outbreak is confirmed, rather than an isolated case, the worst case scenario would see an embargo on all movement of dogs in and out of the country. Even the best case scenario, if such an outbreak is confirmed, could see an instant imposing of no canine movement without up to date vaccination.