Information for 2019 Herds

This webpage is specifically addressed to farmers whose herd is registered in the Irish Johne’s Control Programme, but did not conduct either a whole herd test (WHT) or a veterinary risk assessment and management plan (VRAMP) during 2019.  To confirm your registration in the IJCP is still valid and you can resume undertaking these actions.  As you know there is funding and support to assist you with these actions and we would encourage you to make use of these funded supports available to you under the IJCP in 2020 and beyond.

Benefits of the Programme

All farms can benefit financially from actively controlling Johne’s disease risks.  The July 2020 edition of the JD Bulletin shows the benefits of controlling Johne’s and the value of the funded activities under the IJCP.

For a herd that is apparently not infected, the IJCP protects against infection by identifying practical and cost-effective actions focussed on keeping infection out of the herd, while also reducing the spread and impact of JD if it is introduced; the IJCP also provides increasing, evidence-based, assurance that the herd is not infected.

For a herd that is infected, the IJCP can monitor the level of infection and identify high-risk animals and cohorts for special management and preferential culling, and identifies practical and cost-effective actions focussed on reducing the spread and impacts of JD within the herd and also preventing the introduction of more JD into the herd.

Structure of the programme

We know that understanding and managing Johne’s disease risks can be challenging, whether or not your herd is infected.  We have developed a useful tool to help you navigate the complexities and benefits of JD control in your herd.  This flowchart is a simple guide to the activities of the programme; clicking on each cell of the flowchart provides further details on how to complete that step.

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The basic elements of the IJCP are the WHT and VRAMP, both of which apply to all herds.  In general, positive or inconclusive results at the WHT are followed up with ancillary PCR testing of dung samples (unless the herd is already known to be infected).  Herds with confirmed Johne’s disease are provided with a  TASAH veterinary investigation to determine the source and extent of infection and refine the VRAMP.

The IJCP provides funded support for registered herds for all of these activities.  Conditional on completing both the WHT and VRAMP, assistance is provided towards the cost of the WHT, with the VRAMP, Ancillary PCR testing and TASAHs fully funded.

The IJCP does require participants to act responsibly to prevent spread of infection to other herds: test-positive and thus high-risk animals must only be sent to slaughter (or feedlot for slaughter) and not be sold as breeding animals to other farms.  Otherwise, there are no restrictions on selling stock.

We recommend that you engage in the programme for your herd in 2020.  Talk to your AVP and get more information on the IJCP programme, the VRAMP and blood sampling, or to your milk recording organisation about testing if you are milk recording.  Ensure that both testing and VRAMP are completed and uploaded to ICBF before 31st December to be eligible for payment of your testing assistance.

If you do not wish to remain in the programme, you can withdraw your registration in the IJCP by contacting AHI by email (jd@animalhealthireland.ie) or telephone (071 967 1928).

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