IRELAND: Epidemic fears over killer bug on puppy farm
Posted: May 4th, 2009 - 12:42pm
The country was hit by a new health scare today after an alleged outbreak of canine brucellosis on a puppy farm in the midlands.
It is now feared the suspected outbreak could pose a new threat to public health.
The ISPCA has warned that the incurable disease, which attacks the liver and causes arthritis, can been transferred from dogs to humans.
Jimmy Cahill, chief executive of the Dublin SPCA, has called for immediate action to be taken at the farm near Moate in Co Westmeath.
"We are calling on the Agriculture or Environment Department to take immediate action and quarantine this puppy farm to prevent any further contamination of the canine population.
"Each hour increases the risk of a countrywide brucellosis epidemic."
The news came as it emerged that health chiefs are preparing to place an emergency order for one million face masks in the swine-flu crisis.
Having assured the public that Ireland was better prepared than most other countries to deal with the threat of swine flu, it has emerged that there are not enough face masks on standby.