20150728 AHI_NewsletterSummer 2015

AHI NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2015

AHI NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2015

Animal Health Ireland, Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim 071 9671928 admin@animalhealthireland.ie www.animalhealthireland.ie

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CONTENTS

Introduction

Events And Media

Focus on Technical Working Group Members

BVD

CellCheck

Johne’s Disease

Beef HealthCheck

IBR

Calfcare™

Parasite Control

Biosecurity

Animal Health Ireland, Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim 071 9671928 admin@animalhealthireland.ie www.animalhealthireland.ie

AHI NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2015

INTRODUCTION

Joe O’Flaherty, CEO CEO, Animal Health Ireland

As reported by Gráinne Dwyer below, Animal Health Ireland availed of the opportunity presented by the holding of this year’s Annual General Meeting to formally present the recently completed Strategic Plan (2015-2017). Immediately following the finalisation of the process of consultation with our stakeholders, the Board and management of AHI began working towards ensuring that the four Strategic Priorities identified in the Plan (and summarised in the previous newsletter) are delivered over the course of the current three-year period. The next step in advancing two of the key priorities in the Plan – those relating to funding and corporate governance – will be the achievement of the agreement of our Members on these issues at a Special General Meeting, which will be convened before the end of the year. Another significant development in the second quarter of the year was the successful application by AHI for approval as a Skillnets training network. This partnership with Skillnets significantly strengthens our ability to develop training course for farmers and service providers. The initial emphasis will be on the roll-out of CellCheck farmer workshops, which have been designated by DAFM as an obligatory component of the dairy knowledge transfer component of the Rural Development programme. In parallel, AHI management and the AHI Skillnet steering group have been actively working on the roll-out of further training courses in the future. A planned redevelopment of our website over the coming months will provide a new and improved platform from which to promote and coordinate our training activities in the future. Having referred to the BVD and Johne’s programme in the spring newsletter, I would like to make special mention of the CellCheck programme in this edition. As reported by Finola McCoy in the previous edition of the newsletter, the CellCheck Industry Consultation Group reached agreement on a very significant goal for the CellCheck programme at a meeting earlier in the year. That is that by 2020, 75% of the milk supplied by Irish farmers will have an SCC of 200,000 cells/mL or less. Annual KPIs to enable monitoring of progress towards this goal have also been agreed. The significant improvement in performance by milk recording herds over the past four years, and the initial analysis of 2014 national SCC dataset, which shows significant improvements relative to 2013, provide strong indications that this goal is eminently achievable. Making it a reality will require no more than that dairy farmers and other stakeholders continue to focus on milk quality to the extent that has been so evident over recent years. Joe O’Flaherty (CEO)

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AHI NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2015

EVENTS AND MEDIA

Gráinne Dwyer Communications and Event Manager

The second quarter was a busy and engaging period with AHI being involved in several important events. Joint Committee on Agriculture In April, our Chairman, Mike Magan, CEO, Joe O’Flaherty and Programme Managers, Finola McCoy and David Graham attended the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture. This served as an opportunity to promote the work of AHI and engage and update Committee members on our work. Veterinary Students - UCD Joe O’Flaherty presented his annual lecture to the 4th year Veterinary Students in UCD, an event which offers students the chance to learn about the work of Animal Health Ireland. It also serves as an opportunity to receive important feedback from the students.

Joe O’Flaherty presenting at the launch of AHI’s Strategic Plan (2015-2017)

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Strategic Plan (2015-2017) In October 2014, we began the consultation process to commence the development and work on our Strategic Plan for the period 2015 to 2017. • Ensure the continued delivery of the priority programmes and the other work areas identified in the 2012-2014 Strategic Plan. • Review the fitness for purpose of the funding model and reconfigure as appropriate. • Review the fitness for purpose of the corporate governance structures, including the process of appointment to the Board, and reconfigure as appropriate. • Develop new programmes to support the beef sector and strengthen the horizontal supports to all programmes. Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine launched our Strategic Plan (2015- 2017) on 10th of June in Dublin, in the presence of many of our stakeholders and industry partners.

John Comer, ICMSA, John O’Roarke, Veterinary Ireland, Tomas Bourke, IFA, Eddie Punch, ICSA, Joe O’Flaherty, AHI and Louis Byrne, PCBCOI attending the launch of AHI’s Strategic Plan (2015-2017).

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Mike Magan, Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Joe O’Flaherty and David Graham at the launch of AHI’s Strategic Plan (2015-2017).

Mike Magan (AHI), John Thompson (AHWNI), Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, John O’Sullivan (AHI Board Member) at the launch of AHI’s Strategic Plan (2015-2017).

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Launch of AHI Skillnets The Launch of the AHI Skillnets initiative took place at the Teagasc Moorepark OpenDay. AHI was one of only 5 successful applicants this year to get approval as a new Skillnet. Skillnets, which is funded from the National Training Fund (NTF) through the Department of Education and Skills (DES), seeks to establish training networks delivering subsidised training to the private sector, across a broad range of activities. Partnering with Skillnets will allows us to sustain and expand our range of training available to farmers and veterinary practitioners.

Skillnet Industry Steering Group

Joe O’Flaherty, AHI, Mike Magan, Network Chairman with Karol Harvey, AHI Skillnet Manager

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Publications In conjunction with the publication of our Strategic Plan (2015- 2017), we also produced a report, entitled ‘Accounting for Delivery’, which sets out the level of delivery by AHI in relation to the objectives established in the previous Strategic Plan.

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FOCUS ON TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP MEMBERS

Name: Emer Kennnedy Profession: Senior Research Officer with the Teagasc Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy. TWG Membership: CalfCare Technical Working Group

Emer is originally from a dairy and beef farm in Co. Kilkenny and is currently working and living in Fermoy, Co. Cork where she oversees the calf rearing and replacement heifer research at the Teagasc, AGRIC, Moorepark Research Centre. She qualified from UCD with a BAgSc in 2003. She then went to Teagasc Moorepark to undertake a PhD in grassland management entitled ‘Increasing the proportion of grazed grass in the diet of the spring calving dairy cow in early lactation- the effects on milk production performance, grass dry matter intake and subsequent sward characteristics’ which was completed in 2006. Since finishing her PhD she has been working as a researcher in the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork in grazing management and replacement heifer rearing. In 2008, Emer was given direct responsibility for the calf rearing and replacement heifer research undertaken at Moorepark. Since taking on this role some of her projects have included the investigation of factors affecting colostrum quality in Irish dairy cows and early nutrition of the pre-weaned calf.

Name: Willy Buckley Profession: Veterinary Practitioner, Bandon, Co. Cork TWG Membership: CellCheck Technical Working Group

Willie is originally from a dairy farm in West Cork and he is based in Bandon, Co. Cork where he is a vet and partner in Riverview Vet Clinic which is a 10 vet mixed practice. He is also a founder member of XLVets Ireland. Willie graduated fromUCD Veterinary College in 1994 and he has worked in general practice throughout Northern Ireland, Wales, England, New Zealand and Ireland. More recently he has completed the Graduate Certificate in Dairy Herd Health. His main interests are in milk quality, lameness and facilitating the further upskilling of his clients.

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PROGRAMME UPDATE BVD

Programme: National BVD Eradication Programme Programme Manager: Dr David Graham

Results At the end of June, just over 1.8 million calves had been registered (an increase of 6.6% on 2014). Consistent with previous years, the level of compliance with the requirement to test remained very high, with results already recorded for 98.2% of these. So far in 2015, 0.31% of calves tested are considered to be PI, indicating a reduction of approximately one third from the figure of 0.46% recorded for 2014. With all breeding herds having now been in the programme from 1st January 2013, the majority of animals in the national herd have now either been born and tested since that date or have produced one or more calves, typically allowing them to be assigned an indirect negative status. Recent figures indicate that 96.6% of the 5.9 million animals in breeding herds now have a direct or indirect negative status on the ICBF database, while the status of only 3.5% (~199,000) is not known. Analysis indicates that the majority of these aimals were born in 2012 and therefore will either be slaughtered or calve (and acquire an indirect status) during the remainder of 2015. It is important that the status of any of these animals that will remain in herds into 2016 is clarified, not least because the presence of animals of unknown status will prevent herds acquiring a negative herd status (NHS) within the programme. Currently ~5,600 herds that took part in the programme in 2012 have already achieved NHS. It is anticipated that the majority of herds will be able to meet the criteria to qualify for NHS from 1st January 2016. All herd owners can access their herd data at www.icbf.com to check the status of all animals in their herds and identify any that do not have a negative status. To do so, from the Herd Information section of the initial screen presented after log-in click on the “Health” tab. Then click on “BVD”. On the next screen then choose “VIEW BVD NEGATIVE HERD STATUS”. Where the bar headed “ALL NON NEGATIVE” does not show a zero value, clicking on this bar will produce a list of individual animal IDs and their current status. Revised software for the handheld devices used by veterinary practitioners to assist them with managing BVD in their clients’ herds is also available, allowing them to identify animals of unknown status. These animals should be tested using either a supplementary tissue tag or a blood sample.

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Retention of PI animals The BVD Implementation Group continues to emphasise the importance of prompt removal of PI calves, with strict isolation where the option to conduct a confirmatory re-test is applied. Given the risk of creating further PI calves to be born in the next calving season when susceptible pregnant females come into direct or indirect contact with retained PI animals, a key focus of communications during this quarter has been on the need to remove PI animals in advance of the breeding season. During this period the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) published the terms and conditions of the BVD Compensation Programmes for beef and dairy-breed animals born in 2015 (Click here for further details) and of the Beef Data Genomics Programme (Click here) . Both of these contain measures to encourage prompt removal of PIs. Following the announcement earlier this year by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine that herds retaining PIs would be subject to restriction, DAFM began this process in June by issuing restriction notices to herds retaining PIs born in 2013. Restrictions on herds retaining PIs born in 2014 and 2015 are expected to follow in July, along with letters informing neighbouring herds of their proximity to these PI animals. Collectively, these measures have contributed to an increased rate of removal of PIs, which when combined with the overall reduction in prevalence, has markedly reduced the infection pressure. Thus at the end of June 2015, 73.5% of all PIs born this year were recorded as dead, leaving 1,462 PIs born this year still alive. At the same point in 2014 for calves born that year, this figure was 59.6% (2,781 PIs alive), and in 2013 the removal rate was even lower at 50.3% (leaving 5,374 alive). However, the fact that at the end of June 2015, 206 PIs born in 2013 and 611 born in 2014 remained alive in 206 and 367 herds respectively continues to be a significant cause for concern. Weekly updates on programme figures are available on AHI website (Click here) . Technical working group activity The TWG has met several times during this period, with a particular focus on the monitoring options that will be available in 2016 to herds that have achieved NHS. During this period significant effort has been put into a modelling exercise to provide an evidence base for this decision, which is expected to be available in July. This work has been led by a visiting researcher from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany with input from the Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (CVERA) at University College Dublin and supported by data extracts from ICBF.

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PROGRAMME UPDATE CELLCHECK

Programme: CellCheck Programme Manager: Finola McCoy

Work has continued on collating the 2014 national bulk tank SCC data, which when complete will enable analysis to allow trends over time to be identified. The results of this analysis will be shared with the milk processors and relevant stakeholders in the coming weeks. The TWG have met twice, primarily to work on developing the next phase of training for service providers. This development work is ongoing. In May, a CellCheck Farmer Workshop was organised for the students of the Professional Diploma in Farm Management. As well as attendance as a workshop on Qualitative Research Methods in Animal Health, I have also delivered modules on mastitis control and the CellCheck programme at IMQCS and FETAC Responsible Person’s Training courses, and to the Dairy Business Degree students in Moorepark.

Sam Strain, Finola McCoy, Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and David Graham at the launch of AHI’s Strategic Plan (2015-2017).

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PROGRAMME UPDATE JOHNE’S DISEASE

Programme: Johne’s Disease Programme Manager: Dr Sam Strain

Pilot programme enrolment Following a review of the first year of the pilot programme, the Johne’s Disease Implementation Group (JDIG) has agreed to continue the pilot for 2015. Forms for current participants to re-enrol in the programme have now been issued, with scope for some 300 new farmers to enter the programme in 2015. The fundamental components of the programme remain unchanged with each herd required to undertake a Veterinary Risk Assessment and Management Plan (V-RAMP) and to screen each animal over two years of age using either one blood or two milk samples taken at least 3 months apart. V-RAMPS All enrolled herds are required to carry out their initial veterinary on-farm risk analysis and management practices (V-RAMP) visit within a maximum of 15 months of enrolment. It is important that wherever possible these are carried out before calving to allow herdowners to put in place management practices to reduce infection transmission risks around calving. To facilitate the delivery of V-RAMPs the TWG has developed two Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). They are designed to assist approved veterinary practitioners in the provision of both initial V-RAMPs to new entrants to the Pilot Programme and follow- up risk assessments for those herds that have entered their second year of the programme. They outline the purposes for the V-RAMPs and how they should be conducted on farms. Included in them is advice on test interpretation and guidance on the use of follow-up (ancillary) testing. Beef animals In reviewing the pilot programme, the Technical Working Group (TWG) for Johne’s disease has provided additional advice regarding the presence of beef animals in programme herds. Given their age, beef animals present in the herd but not intended for breeding are not required for testing as the sensitivity of all currently available tests for this age of animal is poor. However, herdowners should be aware of the potential biosecurity risk of introducing beef animals to the herd. Johne’s Disease is primarily introduced into herds through the purchase of infected animals. Therefore herdowners purchasing beef animals should, as far as practicable, ensure that beef animals and their dung do not come into contact with any susceptible animals that will be retained for future breeding.

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Ancillary testing Where active disease has not already been confirmed and where there are animals with positive antibody test results it may be advisable that follow-up (ancillary) testing is conducted to further investigate the status of sero-positive cattle. This could take the form of serology on a repeat blood or milk sample or ancillary faecal testing for the presence of the MAP organism. To date, ancillary testing following an antibody-positive result has been limited to faecal culture. The Technical Working Group has taken the decision that this should be extended to include PCR through designated laboratories. The form for applications for laboratory designation are available on the AHI website (Click here) and have been revised to allow laboratories to apply for designation to provide PCR tests to the programme. It should be noted that the TWG advises that the PCR test should only be used on animals that have had a previous positive blood of milk test. It is important that all samples are correctly identified as being part of the AHI Johne’s Control Programme. This allows the receiving lab to correctly identify the samples and upload test results to the ICBF database in a timely manner. Failure to upload test results to the ICBF database may result in farmers being deemed ineligible for support payments from their milk processor. Notification to DAFM of Johne’s Disease Johne’s Disease remains a notifiable disease. Previously, Statutory Instrument 101 of 2008 (Diseases of Animals Act 1966 (Notification and Control of Animal Diseases) Order 2008) stated that: 3. (1) A person who has in his or her possession or under his or her control, an animal, carcase, product, semen or embryo of an animal, which is affected, or which he or she suspects to be affected with a disease, or a registered veterinary practitioner (within the meaning of the Veterinary Practice Act 2005 (No. 22 of 2005)) who, whether by reason of an examination, test or otherwise, believes or suspects that an animal, carcase, product, semen or embryo of an animal is, or may be, affected with a disease, shall, with all practicable speed, notify the fact or suspicion to an authorised officer at the District Veterinary Office in whose functional area the animal, carcase, product, semen or embryo of an animal is located. (2) Paragraph (1) applies to a person, other than a person to whom that paragraph applies, if he or she has reasonable cause (by reason of laboratory analysis or otherwise) to suspect that an animal, carcase, product, semen or embryo of an animal is or may be affected with a disease. (3) If a person, other than the owner or person in charge of an animal, carcase, product, semen or embryo of an animal notifies in accordance with paragraph (1), he or she shall forthwith inform the owner or person in charge.

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This has now been revised through the recent adoption of SI 123 (2015) ‘Notification and Control of Animal Diseases Regulations 2014 (Amendment) Regulations 2015’ which states: (3A). It is sufficient compliance with Regulation 3 for a person who is a member of the Animal Health Ireland Johne’s Disease Control Programme and to whom that Regulation applies to notify the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation of the suspicion that an animal, carcase, product, semen or embryo is affected or may be affected with Johne’s Disease.” All test results for pilot programme herds are uploaded to ICBF. Therefore for these herds there is now no additional requirement to notify DAFM of positive Johne’s Disease test results. For herdowners who are not in the AHI programme, the previously existing requirement to notify an authorised officer at the District Veterinary Office continues to apply. Communications Recently the TWG has had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Dairy Science. This paper evaluated the cost and benefit of a single round of testing at various points following the introduction of infection into a herd. It estimated that the combined costs of testing and culling at a single round of testing increases with time following the introduction of infection, with culling costs being much greater than testing costs. Importantly it highlights the importance of the early detection of infection following its introduction into herds and before the more widespread establishment of infection within the herd.

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PROGRAMME UPDATE Beef HealthCheck

Programme: Beef HealthCheck Assistant Programme Manager: Rebecca Carroll

The first edition of the new Beef HealthCheck Newsletter was published in April. The quarterly newsletter is aimed at beef farmers and others working in the beef industry. The spring edition included an article on parasite control at grass for the suckler herd and a feature on vaccination. Guest contributor, Paul Crosson, research officer with Teagasc wrote a very informative article on the economics of achieving a 365 day calving interval for suckler cows. The newsletter was circulated to our stakeholders, Teagasc beef discussion group leaders and to those that have signed up to Animal Health Ireland newsletters through our website. The newsletter remains available on the AHI website (Click here) .

Animal Health Ireland met with Meat Industry Ireland members and ICBF in April to discuss progress of the Beef HealthCheck project. During this quarter, descriptors for liver and lung lesions were finalised, a batch-level report for farmers was developed and a specification for electronic transfer of data from meat factories to ICBF has been agreed. The next meeting is scheduled for early July. In May, AHI met with Veterinary Ireland to update them on progress with the Beef HealthCheck project. Work was also begun on the production of a Beef HealthCheck training manual for Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs). The manual will outline the Beef HealthCheck programme, describe each of the lesion categories and advise on using the data capture system. The scoring categories will be illustrated with photographs of the various liver and lung lesions. AHI also met with the Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (CVERA) at UCD to discuss the analysis of data generated to date. Initially we will look at data on liver fluke lesions from 2014 captured by two Meat Industry Ireland member processors. This is an exciting, large scale project and will analyse records from the post mortem inspection of more than 100,000 animals which will generate new information on the influence of season, location and production systems on the prevalence of liver lesions and live fluke and on the impact of these on productivity.

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PROGRAMME UPDATE IBR

Programme: IBR IBR TWG Chairman: Dr Michael Gunn

The IBR Technical Working Group has met twice during the last three months. Meetings also took place with Teagasc economists to advance the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in support of a possible future IBR eradication programme. In addition to assessing the economic impact on Ireland of the acquisition by certain EU member states of Article 9 and Article 10 status (under Council Directive 64/432), the CBA will also attempt to quantify the production effects of the disease in Irish dairy and beef herds. A study visit to review the control schemes in Belgium and the Netherlands in September is being organised. The aimof the visit is to informmembers of the group about practical aspects of initiating and running a national IBR control programme. Questions on specific additional practical information relating to the programmes in these countries are being collated by the TWG so that a better understanding of the nuances of the programmes in these countries can be achieved.

PROGRAMME UPDATE CalfCare ™

Programme: CalfCare™ CalfCare™ TWG Chairman: Dr Ingrid Lorenz

The CalfCare Technical Working Group has taken a break after a busy schedule in the spring. The next meeting will take place on the 9th of July. Topics on the agenda will be an up-date on the current department funded calf health project performed in collaboration between Teagasc, UCD and AFBI, and recommendations on calf milk replacers.

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PROGRAMME UPDATE PARASITE CONTROL

Programme: Parasite Control Parasite Control TWG Chairman: Dr Andrew Forbes

The TWGmet in April in Portlaoisewhere a full agendawas discussed and debated. In terms of personnel, in addition to welcoming Jen McClure from ICBF, it was agreed to extend an invitation to Teagasc for a grassland expert to join the TWG to help to ensure consistency of advice to farmers. The bovine coccidiosis leaflet has been subject to extensive scrutiny by the TWG and is now with the graphic designer. Jen McClure provided a life cycle illustration to complement the text. An Aide Memoir document is currently under review both for content and utility. Current opinion is that bullet point information could be used for seasonal reminders via the AHI web-site and other appropriate media. The Rumen Fluke document has been revised to incorporate the latest information on taxonomy and intermediate host – which has implications for epidemiology and risk factors. Rebecca Carroll provided various summary bulletins on lungworm and other parasitic diseases for dissemination through the AHI network. I gave a presentation on AHI and the work of the TWGs to staff and students at the Liverpool Veterinary School during this period.

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PROGRAMME UPDATE BIOSECURITY

Programme: Biosecurity Biosecurity TWG Chairman: Dr John Mee

The TWG has met twice in the last three months and a further meeting is scheduled for the autumn. Key issues that have been addressed include biosecurity risks associatedwith contract rearing of replacement heifers, farm biosecurity auditing, the biosecurity component of the proposed Farm Improvement Plan (FIP) within the Rural Development Programme, and the drafting of biosecurity leaflets and factsheets. Following a presentation from one of the Teagasc Dairy Specialists (George Ramsbottom) at a TWG meeting, guidelines on biosecurity risks associated with contract rearing of replacement heifers are being prepared. A farm biosecurity audit used for pig farms was examined and it was decided that this tool could be modified for cattle farms by the TWG. Both the ‘Biocontainment’ and ‘Managing a Disease Outbreak’ leaflets are either in final publisher’s version or final TWG comment copy. It was decided that guidelines on use of vaccines was needed and a factsheet on this topic has been drafted. Further information is available on the Biosecurity webpage on the AHI website, and past press publications are available on the Biosecurity press page (Click here) .

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