The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has lifted the surveillance zone that was put in place in Cork after a potential case of rabies was identified in a sable.
The animal, which had been imported into Ireland as a pet, had been euthanised after it began displaying atypical behaviour. Tests revealed low levels of lyssavirus and officials were unable to rule out rabies infection.
While officials said the pet had been kept securely confined at a private premises and there was no evidence of contact with animals outside the household, they introduced a number of precautionary safety measures. These included reporting any animals found dead within an 8km zone near Riverstick.
While the measures have now been lifted, the Department said the incident serves as a reminder of the ever-present risk posed by exotic diseases such as rabies.
“Increasing movements of animals into and throughout Europe means that everyone must remain vigilant to ensure Ireland remains rabies free,” the Department said in a statement.
It added: “Any person importing a pet animal from another country should be aware of the legal requirements. Rabies is a notifiable disease in Ireland – if you suspect an animal is affected by rabies, you must notify the Department immediately, by contacting your local Regional Veterinary Office."