Programme Update: IBR
Dr Maria Guelbenzu, Programme Manager
IBR Pilot A pilot IBR eradication programme has been developed for herds participating in Phase Three of the Teagasc/Irish Farmers journal BETTER Farm Beef Programme. A total of 29 herds will be included. The pilot will comprise the application of an IBR on-farmveterinary risk assessment andmanagement plan (VIBRAMP) and the sampling of the herd. The VIBRAMP consists of a questionnaire that 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. A final round of training of veterinary practitioners on the disease, the application of the biosecurity questionnaire and the interpretation of the test results was carried out in Portlaoise in June. Herds will be tested by applying a herd ‘snap shot’ which requires the sampling of 30 randomly selected animals over 9 months-old that are used or intended for breeding, followed by testing with an IBR gE (marker) ELISA. As described in the IBR Study Visit Report click here , the ‘snap shot’ herd screen was used in Wallonia, southern Belgium, as a cost effective means to obtain an initial indication of the level of infection in a given herd. This allowed many herds of previously unknown status to progress rapidly to a free status within the programme. Results from this testing will be used to evaluate the herd status, to identify risk factors associated with the presence of infection, to identify common biosecurity risks and inform the decision on further testing and vaccination. For example, testing of all animals in low prevalence herds would be justified, allowing them to move rapidly to freedom. The information generated will also be used by the IBR TWG to inform options for an IBR eradication programme for Ireland. IBR Technical Working Group The Technical working group met twice this quarter, in April and June. Options for a national IBR control programme continue to be developed. As previously reported, a PhD student has been recruited and has now started working on the development of statistical models for IBR in Ireland that will allowdifferent test scenarios and possible eradication strategies to be evaluated. The information generated through the BETTER Farm Beef IBR Pilot described above and other studies will contribute to this work.
AHI STAKEHOLDER NEWSLETTER | SUMMER EDITION
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