Johne's disease Bulletin July 2016

JULY 2016 BULLETIN

Johne’s Disease

A Dairy Farmer’s experience with Johne’s disease

As many dairy farmers throughout the country can testify, Johne’s Disease (JD) can be a crippling disease on any herd. For those who have been fortunate to escape its costs the disease implications are often overlooked. Over the past number of months, we have conducted a number of interviews with farmers who have suffered at the hands of JD to show the true expense of this disease in an Irish context. Here is one Cork farmer’s experience with JD. 1. How did you first suspect you had JD in your herd? A bull that was purchased 3 to 4 years previously started to get thin, despite eating normally. He also began to scour intermittently. 2. For how long do you believe the disease has been present in your herd? As the disease originated from the purchased bull, it must have been on the farm for around 4 years before diagnosis. 3. Did you have any clinical cases? If so, can you estimate the number and what symptoms you would have noticed? Yes, once the bull was diagnosed he was removed from the herd for slaughter. Approximately 2 years after his removal a cow started to show signs of clinical JD. A rigorous blood testing programme then commenced and this revealed a further 17 cows that tested positive for Johne’s Disease. These cows were dried off to ensure no milk entered the bulk tank. Interestingly, during one year, both milk and blood tests were conducted with very similar results. 4. When did you first take action to tackle the disease? What measures did you put in place? The first cow that tested positive was confirmed using a faecal test. Following that all cows were tested for JD. When it was discovered that a significant number were positive we joined the AHI JD pilot programme. We subsequently implemented all of the risk management procedures recommended to us following the on-farm risk assessment management plan which was conducted by our vet. 5. What testing methods did you use? Both blood and milk tests were used.

Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 WN27 Phone 071 9671928 Email nmorgan@animalhealthireland.ie www.animalhealthireland.ie

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