AHI Newsletter Q1 2018 FINAL

Programme Update: IBR

AnimalHealthIreland.ie IBRFree

Dr Michael Gunn, IBR TWG Chairman

A meeting of the IBR Technical Working Group was held in January. A pilot IBR eradication programme is being developed for herds participating in Phase Three of the Teagasc/IFJ BETTER Farm Beef Programme. The TWG has developed an on-farm questionnaire to be used by each herd’s veterinary practitioner. The questionnaire will capture details of the farm structure, animal movements, biosecurity and vaccination history, with the vet and herd owner agreeing up to three changes to improve biosecurity. In addition, a ‘snapshot’ representative sample of 30 animals will be taken from each herd, with the results determining the next steps in terms of further testing and vaccination. Testing of samples from the farms will be carried out by the Blood Testing Laboratory in Cork. This initial phase of activity will be funded through the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health. Training of veterinary practitioners in the use of the questionnaire and performance and interpretation of the snapshot testing has been carried out in Naas, Nenagh and Carrick on Shannon in April. While data on the costs of IBR in dairy and suckler herds has been evaluated, costs of IBR in ‘finishing’ beef cattle in Ireland continues to be assessed. During this quarter, two new appointments were made by AHI; a manager for the BVD and IBR programme and a PhD student to develop statistical models for IBR in Ireland, similar to those previously developed for BVD. Both successful candidates will take up their positions in May.



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