BHC Newsletter Winter FINAL

WINTER EDITION

ANIMAL HEALTH IRELAND Contributing to a profitable and sustainable farming and agri-food sector through improved animal health

BEEF HEALTH CHECK NEWSLETTER

REBECCA CARROLL FEATURE ARTICLES P2 P3 P4 P5 DAVID GRAHAM

MARK McGEE

MICHAEL HOULIHAN

NATIONAL BEEF HEALTH PROGRAMME

Beef HealthCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie

Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 WN27

BEEF HEALTHCHECK PROGRAMME UPDATE

FIRST FULL YEAR OF NATIONWIDE PROGRAMME

Rebecca Carroll, Programme Manager

2016 has been the first full year of the Beef HealthCheck programme. Over the course of the year, the programme has been rolled out in 18 meat plants across 7 meat processors and farmers across the country are now receiving reports on liver and lung lesions found in cattle slaughtered in these plants. The information is also being transferred to the ICBF database which allows farmers to view and analyse their Beef HealthCheck data online. To facilitate herd health planning farmers are also encouraged to share the information with their veterinary practitioners through the ICBF website. [Click here] for a “Step-by-step guide to viewing Beef HealthCheck data on ICBF”. Preliminary data analysis from the programme contributed to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) liver fluke forecast for 2016. Preliminary analysis of Beef HealthCheck data suggests that the frequency of fluke damaged livers in cattle at slaughter has increased slightly over the summer months and into the autumn, with live fluke detected at low but consistent levels through this period. The frequency of these findings is greatest in cattle going to slaughter from north western and western counties. The forecast advises that the risk of disease due to liver fluke infection is high for most parts of the country apart from isolated areas of the east and southeast where there is a lower risk of disease in cattle and occasional losses in untreated sheep flocks. [Click here] for the full forecast. More information on managing liver fluke this winter is available in on the Animal Health Ireland website [Click here]

Weekly liver fluke results from Beef HealthCheck participating meat plants from April to November

10 15 20 25 30

0 5 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

Damaged by liver fluke with live fluke observed Damaged by liver fluke without live fluke observed WEEK

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BEEF HEALTHCHECK PROGRAMME UPDATE

Liver fluke results from Beef HealthCheck participating meat plants by slaughter herd location

0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Damaged by liver fluke with live fluke observed Damaged by liver fluke without live fluke observed

Over the course of next year Animal Health Ireland will conduct further analysis of the Beef HealthCheck data including at the prevalence of liver and lung lesions in different categories of animals, economic analysis of the impact of liver fluke, liver abscesses and lung lesions and more in depth analysis of the geographic distribution of animals affected by these lesions.

Beef HealthCheck events Animal Health Ireland in conjunction withMeat Industry Ireland, individual meat processors, Teagasc and DAFM ran a series of Beef HealthCheck events in October. The theme of the events was Animal Health at Housing and approximately 800 farmers attended these National Knowledge Transfer approved events. Farmers heard speakers talking on parasite control at housing, respiratory disease, understanding the Beef HealthCheck report and antimicrobial resistance. Following good feedback, we intend to make the Beef HealthCheck events an annual occurrence for beef farmers.

Frank O’Sullivan, PVP speaking at the Beef HealthCheck event in Clonee on Parasite Control at Housing

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BEEF HEALTHCHECK PROGRAMME UPDATE

Beef HealthCheck events (continued)

Conor Geraghty, PVP speaking at the Beef HealthCheck event in Tuam on Parasite Control at Housing.

Caroline Garvan, DAFM speaking at the event in Gorey on AMR.

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BEEF HEALTHCHECK PROGRAMME UPDATE

Beef HealthCheck events (continued)

Rebecca Carroll, Programme Manager speaking to farmers in Donegal on the Beef HealthCheck programme

Tommy Heffernan, PVP speaking at the Beef HealthCheck event in Gorey on Weanling Pneumonia.

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FEATURE ARTICLE

NATIONAL BVD ERADICATION PROGRAMME - AN UPDATE

Dr David Graham, BVD Programme Manager & DCEO AHI

C onsiderable progress was made in the BVD eradication programme during 2016, with the prevalence of PI births being more than halved to 0.17% (17 in 10,000) relative to 2015 and showing a fourfold reduction from the first year of the compulsory programme in 2013 (Figures 1 and 2). This reduction was also evident at herd level, with a reduction from 11.35% of herds having positive or inconclusive results in 2013 to only 3.18% in 2016. At this point in the programme, also most all animals on the database have a status, with only some 46,000 (0.8%) of over 5.7 million animals being of unknown status. This information, together with the reduction in PI births, has resulted in over 64,500 (75%) of the83,000breedingherdsnowhavingacquired negative herd status (NHS) based on all animals in the herd having a known negative status and absence of a PI for at least 12 months. The acquisition of NHS is a significant achievement in its own right, but has the added advantage of allowing herds to access lower cost testing from laboratories that are designated to test using the RTPCR method [click here] for

further details). Resolving the status of these remaining animals (and the 15,000 herds where their presence is preventing NHS being achieved) is an important target for 2017. A further key areawhere progress has beenmade is in reducing the retention of PI animals. At the end of 2016 there were a total of 323 PIs recorded as alive on the database, with almost all (96%) of these having been born during 2016. In contrast, 12 months previously there was a total of 1,211 PIs still alive, of which 18% had been born in 2014 or earlier. While this indicates significant progress over 2016, further improvement is required to ensure that the programme achieves its goal of eradication by 2020. PI calves are born as a result of infection in utero between 30 and 120 days of pregnancy. Therefore to have the greatest impact on the level of PI births in the following calving season, PI calves need to be not only identified but also removed before breeding begins each year. Given the strong bias to spring-calving in Ireland, retention of spring-born PIs over the summer period contributes significantly to the creation of PI calves to be born the following spring.

0.66%

0.7

14

(A) PI ANIMALS

(B) HERDS

11.35%

0.6

12

0.46%

0.5

10

7.67%

0.4

8

0.33%

0.3

6

5.93%

0.17%

0.2

4

3.18%

0.1

2

2015

2016

2013

2014

2015

2016

2013

2014

Figure 1. (A) Prevalence (%) of PI births and (B) prevalence of herds with one or more positive or inconclusive results in each year of the national eradication programme

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FEATURE ARTICLE: NATIONAL BVD ERADICATION PROGRAMME - AN UPDATE

Recent modelling work conducted through the BVD Technical Working Group has again highlighted the importance of rapid removal of PIs in achieving eradication as quickly as possible. For this reason the BVD Implementation Group has renewed its focus on this area for 2017, with a number of important changes to the programme to encourage disposal andminimize the impact of retained PIs on other herds. These and other changes are summarized below: 1. Increased financial supports but reduced time limits for removal of PI calves. a. Beef herds: €185 for beef breed animals removed with a registered date of death on AIM within 3 weeks of the initial test, reducing to €60 if removed in the 4th or 5th week after the initial test. b. Dairy herds i. Dairy anddairy cross heifers: €150 if removedwithin 3weeksof the initial test, reducing to€35 if removed in the 4th or 5th week after the initial test. ii. €30 for removal of bull calves within 3 weeks of the initial test. 2. Restriction of herds retaining PI calves and notification of neighbours. DAFM will automatically restrict movements into and out of herds that retain PI animals for more than five weeks after the date of the initial test. These will be automatically lifted following removal of PIs. Neighbouring herds will also be notified, advising them to take appropriate biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of accidental introduction of infection. 3. Confirmatory and dam testing by blood sample only. Testing of the dam of PI calves and, where desired, confirmatory testing of the calf must be done on a blood sample. DAFM will fund the sampling visit by the herd’s veterinary practitioner and the testing. 4. Veterinary investigations of all herds with PI calves born in 2017. All herds with PI calves born in 2017 are required to undergo an investigation under the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) funded through the Rural Development Plan, and delivered by an approved

private veterinary practitioner, within 3 months of the date of the first positive result. These investigations seek to review herd biosecurity, identify a plausible source or sources of infection, ensure that the herd is left free from BVDV and agree farm-specific measures to prevent its re- introduction. While the focus tends to be on infected herds, it is important at this stage of the programme that negative herds maximise biosecurity to prevent accidental introduction of infection from outside the herd. Analysis of results from TASAH investigations on positive herds in 2016 identified a number of pathways by which infection could have been introduced. These included: • Movement of personnel (including the farmer) without adequate attention to hygiene. Only essential visitors should contact cattle, particularly in early pregnancy, and all should either be provided with farm-specific boots and clothing or steps taken to ensure that adequate disinfection procedures are in place. • Contact with cattle across boundaries. Cattle up to 120 days of pregnancy are at particular risk and where possible should not graze at boundaries where nose to nose contact withother cattle is possible. Boundaries shouldbe sufficient to prevent breakins and provide a gap of at least 3m (even if provided on a temporary basis using an electric fence). • Purchased cattle, or those returning unsold or from shows should go through a quarantine process on entering the herd. They should be held in a quarantine facility (building or paddock) for at least 28 days, with early contact with pregnant stock in particular being avoided. • Movement or sharing of large or small items of equipment should be avoided where possible. Otherwise adequate disinfection should be in place. • Those herds that have not yet achievedNHS should identify and test all animals whose status is not known - [click here] for guidance on identifying these animals.

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FEATURE ARTICLE: NATIONAL BVD ERADICATION PROGRAMME - AN UPDATE

Figure 2. Maps showing the distribution of calves born persistently infected with BVD virus in 2013 and 2016 (to end November), showing decrease in prevalence over time. Each hexagon covers an area of approximately 10km2. Hexagons in which there are fewer than 250 cattle (e.g. mountainous/urban areas and lakes) are shown with a blue border.

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FEATURE ARTICLE

“FEEDING THE SUCKLER COW FOR A HEALTHY CALF”

Dr Mark McGee and Dr Bernadette Earley, Teagasc, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath

T he major cost incurred in suckled calf production is the cost of feeding the cow. A suckler cow must consume sufficient nutrients - energy, protein, minerals and vitamins- for her own maintenance and growth, as well as the needs of a growing foetus when pregnant, and milk production when lactating. Therefore, feed requirements of a suckler cow mainly depend on their body weight, age and whether they are dry (pregnant) or lactating. For mainly economic reasons, suckler cow nutrition generally involves mobilisation of cow body fat reserves in winter when

feed is more expensive, and deposition of body reserves during the subsequent grazing season when consuming lower cost grass. Body condition score (BCS), a measure of the relative fatness or body reserves of a cow, is an important management tool to consider in relation to feeding suckler cows. It is not desirable to have cows in very high (i.e. fat) or very low (i.e. thin) BCS. Target BCS (scale 0-5) for spring-calving cows at the end of the grazing season (housing) is ca. 3.0-3.5 and at calving is ca. 2.5. Over the indoor winter period, spring-calving cows in good BCS (3.0-3.5) at housing can utilise some of their body reserves (0.5 to 1.0 BCS units) as a means of reducing expensive winter

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FEATURE ARTICLE: “FEEDING THE SUCKLER COW FOR A HEALTHY CALF”

feed costs; this feed saving is equivalent to 1.0-1.5 tonnes fresh weight of grass silage. The feed energy ‘restriction’ can occur in various ways, depending on the ‘quality’ or dry matter digestibility (DMD) of the grass silage available, e.g. by offering moderate ‘quality’ grass silage (65-68% DMD) to appetite, “diluting” the energy value of good ‘quality’ (e.g. 70%+ DMD) silage with straw and offering that to appetite, or by restricting the amount of good ‘quality’ silage offered daily. Where the amount of feed is restricted it is important that feeding space is adequate such that all cows can eat at the same time. If cows are not in good BCS, their feed energy intake cannot be restricted and they must be fed to ‘requirements’, e.g. allowed free access to good ‘quality’ silage and/or supplemented with concentrate, as appropriate. All cows should be offered an appropriate dry cow mineral/vitamin for at least six weeks pre- calving. In addition to cow feed costs, management of BCS has implications for colostrum and milk yield, reproductive performance, health and well-being and, in extreme cases, calving difficulty. Many factors influence the incidence of calving difficulty but calf birth weight and internal pelvic area of the cow account for most of the variation. As cow BCS increases above a moderate level, calving difficulty can increase because fat is deposited in the pelvic area, thereby reducing the size of the pelvic canal. Very thin cows also have increased calving problems and increasedcalfmortalitydue to insufficient strength towithstand the birth process and giving birth to weak, non-vigorous calves. Low levels of feeding during the last one-third of pregnancy will not result in predictable effects on calf birth weight or calving difficulty. Health of suckler calves depends on minimising their exposure to disease and maximising their defence against disease. As calves are born without a fully functional immune system, because the bovine placenta prevents in utero transfer of immunoglobulins (Ig) or antibodies from the cow to the calf, they depend on the passive immunity provided through absorption of Ig from colostrum (first milk) from the cow until their own immune system is fully developed. Calf passive immunity depends primarily on the colostrum Ig mass (volume x Ig concentration) consumed, coupled with the Ig absorption capacity of the calf; factors affecting these parameters impacts on the immune status of suckler calves.

The ability of the calf to absorb Ig starts to decline quickly after birth. Consequently, early consumption of sufficient high-quality colostrum is the first and most important line of defence. Ideally, calves should suckle the cow to satiation as soon as possible after birth. In situations where this is not feasible, research at Teagasc, Grange has shown that feeding the calf 5% of its birth weight e.g. ~2 litres of colostrum for a 40 kg calf, within 1 hour or so of birth, with subsequent suckling of the dam (or a second feed) 6 to 8 hours later, ensures adequate transfer of immunity. First-milking colostrum should be given priority as the Ig concentration of second-milking colostrum is only half that of first-milking colostrum. Colostrum yield is usually higher in cow breed types with higher milk production potential, in mature cows compared to heifers (first-calvers) and in cows that are not excessively thin or not severely feed- restricted before calving. A recent large-scale DAFM-funded study carried out by Teagasc Grange evaluated the passive immune status and health of Irish suckler calves. Results showed that only ca. 30% of calves had ‘High’ immunity, 50% had ‘Medium’ immunity and 20% had ‘low’ or very inadequate levels of immunity. Calves in the ‘Low’ immunity category were significantly more likely to be treated for disease than those in the ‘Medium’ or ‘High’ categories. These results suggest that more emphasis on colostrum management is needed on Irish suckler beef farms.

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FEATURE ARTICLE

PREPARING FOR A BORD BIA AUDIT

Michael Houlihan, Sector Manager, Dairy, Quality Assurance Department, Bord Bia

T he vast majority of farmers pass Bord Bia inspections without any difficulty. Farmers that put some effort into preparation for audit or who operate to a good standard on a continuous basis generally have little to fear from a Bord Bia audit. Having said this it is useful to give some thought to any impending audit. Outlined below are some areas for consideration during your preparations.

1. General appearance Farmyards, animal housing, milking parlours and dairies (where applicable) should be well maintained and presented in a clean manner. Handling facilities should be secure and of a standard so as to avoid injury to people or animals. Any waste plastic, etc. should be stored neatly pending disposal and the farm should be free of scrap. Ensure you have a farm sign in place and a footbath available for all visitors to the farm. 2. Farm records This tends to be that area that most farmers have difficulty with. It is important to note that most of the records required for a Bord Bia audit are records that farmers are required to keep by law. Keeping these records up to date on an ongoing basis will eliminate difficulty in preparing for your audit. The main farm records a farmer must have available on the day of the audit are listed accross; The BHR can be kept online using Agfood.ie or in the DAFMherd register (blue book). If the blue book is in use then it must be up to date and any movement permits or knackery receipts must be available for inspection. Feed and remedy purchase records can be maintained in a number of formats. They can be documented in the Bord Bia Farm Book, recorded on the various farm software programmes available or they can simply be documented by retaining all invoices/statements/ prescriptions from vets or other suppliers of veterinary medicines.

Farm records

1. Bovine herd register (BHR)* 2. Flock register*

3. Animal remedy purchase records* 4. Animal remedy usage records* 5. Animal health plan

6. Feed purchase records* 7. Herd health certificate* 8. Farm Safety Risk Assessment(FSRA)/Farm Safety Statement(FSS)* 9. Water test report (dairy only) 10. Milkingmachinemaintenance record/ test report (dairy only) *Indicates records that are legal requirements that must be maintained whether a member of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes or not The animal remedy usage record is key and all medicines administered must be recorded. This includes antibiotics, routine dosing products, vaccines, tubes, etc. Again there are options with respect to how the record is maintained. The Bord Bia Farm Book, farm software programmes, remedy section in the blue book where still available are all acceptable formats.

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FEATURE ARTICLE: PREPARING FOR A BORD BIA AUDIT

The FSRA/FSS is a legal requirement. Every farm is required to have one complete and available to visitors, contractors, etc. to the farm. Again there is a paper version and an on-line option that farmers can use, both of which are acceptable for the purpose of the audit. 3. Health and Safety Auditors will raise non-compliances if they identify obvious health and safety hazards during their time on the farm. Taking a fewminutes to look around your farmto ensure there is nothing that could potentially result in a problem at audit is worthwhile and may well be more beneficial than simply achieving full marks at audit. Ensuring PTO guards, etc. are in place is essential. Ensuring fencing is secure around slurry lagoons and that agitation points are properly covered are obvious things but unfortunately regularly feature in audits with non-compliances. Outlined above are just a small number of the areas covered by the audit. For a full list of all the requirements farmers should look at section three of the BLQAS and the SDAS producer standards. All the auditable requirements are listed here. These standards are available on the Bord Bia website [Click here] or a hard copy can be requested by phoning 062 54900.

It is important to note that most of the records required for a Bord Bia audit are records that farmers are required to keep by law. Keeping these records up to date on an ongoing basis will eliminate difficulty in preparing for your audit.

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