About the programme
In late 2017 the national dairy industry implemented a voluntary Johne’s Control Programme which provides pathways for test-negative and test-positive herds to demonstrate progress towards an improved herd assurance for Johne’s disease.
The Irish Johne’s Control Programme represents a significant step for the Irish dairy industry in developing a long-term approach to the control of Johne’s disease, which recognises the value of effective and on-going disease prevention and containment practices to control the spread of an endemic production disease.
The objectives of the Irish Johne’s Control Programme are as follows:
- Enhance the ability of participating farmers to keep their herds clear of Johne’s disease.
- Enable participating farmers to reduce the level of infection in their herds, where present.
- Provide additional reassurance to the marketplace in relation to Ireland’s efforts to control Johne’s disease.
- Improve calf health and farm biosecurity in participating farms.
The programme has been restructured to more clearly identify the role different activities contribute to a national control initiative.
Structure of the Irish Johne’s Control Programme
The main focus of the programme is on:
- Individual herd risk assessments undertaken by approved veterinary practitioners (AVPs), and the development of customised management plans known as VRAMPs.
- Regular whole herd screening tests using individual ELISA tests, contributing to the development of a herd assurance score for Johne’s disease.
- Additional testing of ELISA test positive animals, by PCR or faecal culture, in herds where infection has not previously been identified.
- Communication and awareness activities to provide farmers with readily accessible information about the Johne’s disease and biosecurity.
A phased approach has been adopted to implementing the Irish Johne’s Control Programme.
Initial registration in Phase One was limited to herds, which had participated in the Pilot Programme, closing on 31 December 2017. However, due to farmer interest, registration in an expanded Phase One has been extended to those herdowners who have already lodged an EOI or late request to register following the Farmer Awareness Seminars which were held late in 2017. If you have previously lodged an Expression of Interest form, you can register online here. Late registration forms will be processed automatically and the herd owners notified.
Phase Two, will commence following the consideration of an international consultant’s report (due in mid-June 2018) on the relative effectiveness of a range of possible programme measures. Participation in the programme will open to all herds at that time.
Additional measures will progressively be made available to farmers in Phase Two of the programme, including individual herd investigations for confirmed test-positive herds, funded by DAFM and the EU, and delivered through the TASAH measure of the Rural Development Programme. Measures to support beef farmers will also be progressively rolled out during Phase Two. To indicate an Expression of Interest in Phase Two of the Programme, download a form here.
In 2018, the level of financial support available to farmers registering with Phase One of the programme consists of €3.60 /head from DAFM toward the cost of whole herd testing, and payment by your milk processor of the cost of the veterinary risk assessment and management plan (VRAMP) to be carried out by your nominated Approved Veterinary Practitioner (AVP) where this is a required activity.
All farmers are encouraged to find out more about Johne’s disease control and how to manage the risk of Johne’s disease entering and spreading within their herd by participating in a Johne’s disease seminar hosted by their milk processor. Please contact your milk processor for details.
How to register
To register for the Programme you should follow the easy registration process Click here