A further 27 cattle from a Co. Monaghan farm have tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, also known as angel dust, after further tests were carried out by the Department of Agriculture.

Last month, the Department said that it had launched an investigation after an animal, which was processed through ABP Clones, tested positive for the growth promoter after a random sample was taken as part of the National Residue Control Programme.

The Department has confirmed that 27 animals, which were on the holding as part of the overall herd, tested  positive and were destroyed.

According to the Department the Food Safety Authority of Ireland is fully aware of this investigation and has concluded that there is no risk to public health arising thereof.

Pending the completion of the investigation, all animals on the farm have been placed under restriction. It is understood that the Department of Agriculture’s Special Investigations Unit raided the farm following the positive result and seized a large quantity of the drug.

Some 13 animals tested positive for the use of growth promoters in 2014 and figures released by the Department of Agriculture for 2014 – the most up to date full year figures – show that 13 bovine and farm game samples tested positive for the substance, Thiouracil, which may indicate the potential use of growth promoters covered by the EU Hormone Ban.

Some 0.22% of animals in 2014 tested positive under the National Residue Control Plan (NRCP), figures from the Department show.

Meanwhile, the identification of angel dust in a beef animal by the Department of Agriculture and the subsequent traceability actions demonstrate the effectiveness of the food safety regulatory system, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has said.

The FSAI has confirmed that it has carried out a risk assessment in relation to this incident and that this incident related to one cow.