AHI Newsletter Q2 2018 FINAL

Programme Update Johne’s Disease

Johne's Control AnimalHealthIreland.ie

Lorna Citer, Programme Manager

T here have been further registrations in an extended Phase One of the IJCP following the decision by DAFM and participating milk processors to provide additional funding to support whole herd testing and VRAMPs. Due to farmer interest, an invitation to register in the IJCP was extended to an additional 400 herdowners who had already lodged an EOI or late request to register following the Farmer Awareness Seminars which were held late in 2017. The development of an automated online registration form has provided an additional registration pathway for those herdowners who have been invited to join the programme, making the registration process easier and quicker. By the end of Q2 834 herds have registered, of which 364 have commenced, and in some instances completed, their whole herd testing. 164 herds have completed a VRAMP since registering with the programme. A series of communications with both herd owners and vets have been implemented or are planned to ensure that programme requirements are complied with. Another significant activity completed this quarter has been the presentation of two comprehensive reports prepared by international consultants who were asked to consider two key questions relating to Phase Two of the IJCP: • Whether further refinements to the current protocol for testing of herds with negative results could be developed that offered reduced costs to herdowners without impacting the degree of confidence that a herd is free from infection that the current protocol delivers. • Which was the most cost effective herd screening approach that could be applied nationally. On behalf of the consulting team, Dr Evan Sergeant attended a number of briefing sessions and presented the reports to both the JD TWG and JD Implementation Group. During his presentations Dr Sergeant identified a number of elements that should be included in the future Irish approach to Johne’s control, if it is to meet the agreed programme objectives, including: • A voluntary test-based approach to herd assurance. • Ongoing regular VRAMPs. • An option for farmers to declare their herds Assurance Score. • National surveillance for herd-level case-detection. The JD TWG and JD IG are currently considering these reports and the recommendations that have been made, ahead of an anticipated starting date for Phase Two of the IJCP, in January 2019.



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