Animal Health Ireland has announced that the Johne’s Disease Implementation Group (JDIG) has agreed the commencement of a new programme for the control of Johne’s Disease in Ireland. Building on the experience of the pilot control programme for dairy herds (2014-2016), the design of this new broadly-based control programme has been agreed by the Implementation Group.
The programme will be introduced in two phases, the first phase commencing in September 2017 and the second phase expected to start early in 2018.
Commenting on this development, Mr. Joe O’Flaherty, CEO of Animal Health Ireland said “We have decided to take a phased approach to implementation, with Phase One, starting in September this year, acting as a bridge to the new programme for those herds that participated in the pilot programme. We expect Phase 2 to start in early 2018, following the completion of an international consultant’s report on the relative effectiveness of a number of proposed, new programme measures.” The details of the new programme as it currently stands are as follows:
- From September 2017, herd-owners across the country will be encouraged to register with the programme. In the first phase, registration will be confined to those herd-owners who previously enrolled or participated in the dairy pilot programme (2014-2016). Animal Health Ireland will be in contact with these farmers in the coming weeks to invite them to register and, subject to registration, to offer them access to financial assistance for a number of programme measures, including:
- Ancillary testing to clarify the status of animals that have given prior test-positive results on blood or milk samples (the financial support for this measure being provided by DAFM).
- On-farm risk assessment (VRAMP), delivered by a veterinary practitioner, trained and approved by AHI (the financial support for this measure being provided by the milk processor).
- A series of regional workshops, convened by milk processors, will take place in the final quarter of the year, aimed at promoting an awareness of Johne’s disease prevention and control and the benefits of registering with the Irish Johne’s Control Programme.
- Details of Phase 2 of the programme, to start in early 2018, will be provided following the completion of an international consultant’s report on the relative effectiveness of a number of proposed, new programme measures.
By Eamonn Farrell
Agri Food Policy Executive