Dairygold Co-op has stopped collecting milk from a farm in north Cork after several cows died after ingesting lead.

A Department of Agriculture investigation is under way into the deaths, which it believes were caused by the animals swallowing degrading lead weights used on collars.

In a statement, the Department said that having consulted the Food Safety Authority, which carried out a risk assessment, it was satisfied there is no risk to consumers arising from the case.

It also confirmed that a small number of other farms were using the same weights.

They have since been removed and officials said there was no evidence of lead poisoning on the farms.

As a precautionary measure, the Department has restricted the movement of animals from the farm and stopped milk produced on site from entering the food chain.

In a separate statement, Dairygold confirmed it had suspended milk collections from the farm as a "precautionary measure".

A company spokesman said as it is a Department investigation Dairygold is not in a position to comment any further.