DARD says “no risk” after piglet found to have LA-MRSA on Northern Irish farm

DARD says “no risk” after piglet found to have LA-MRSA on Northern Irish farm

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland (DARD) has said there is “no risk” after a piglet was confirmed as carrying MRSA (LA-MRSA), said to be the first case of its kind in the UK.

LA-MRSA is short for Livestock-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the find has prompted some to question an alleged overuse of antibiotics on farms.

However, a DARD Spokesperson said: “DARD is aware that the first case of Livestock Associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) in the north was identified several weeks ago in a 6-8 week old piglet. This case poses no risk to the general public and is different from the MRSA strain that can be found in healthcare.


“LA-MRSA presents a low occupational risk for those working in close contact with infected livestock and is not a notifiable disease. Meat from LA-MRSA affected animals is perfectly safe to eat provided normal good hygiene and thorough cooking practices are observed.

“DARD is liaising with the Public Health Agency and is providing advice and assistance to those on the farm in question.”

LA-MRSA was found on a poultry farm in East Anglia in late 2013 and the risk of getting the disease from eating meat or directly from the animal is very low, according to the FSA.


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