Irish Johne’s Control Programme (IJCP)

About the programme

The Irish Johne’s Control Programme (IJCP) represents a significant step for the Irish cattle industries in developing a long-term approach to the control of Johne’s disease. The IJCP recognises the value of effective and on-going disease prevention and containment practices to control the spread of a significant and endemic disease of cattle. The IJCP provides pathways for test-negative and test-positive herds to demonstrate progress towards an improved herd assurance for Johne’s disease.

All dairy farmers are encouraged to register with the IJCP.  The IJCP is also available to beef herds.

The objectives of the Irish Johne’s Control Programme are as follows:

  1. Enhance the ability of participating farmers to keep their herds clear of Johne’s disease (JD).
  2. Assist participating farmers to reduce the level of infection in their herds, where present.
  3. Provide additional reassurance to the marketplace in relation to Ireland’s efforts to control Johne’s disease.
  4. Improve calf health and farm biosecurity in participating farms.

Phase Two

Phase Two of the programme commenced on the 1st January 2019. Farmers who were registered in Phase One of the programme automatically had their registrations carried forward to Phase Two.

The IJCP has the support of all stakeholders involved in the programme, recognising it as delivering a sustainable and internationally credible programme for Ireland.  Funding is being provided by DAFM, individual milk processors and farmers with a commitment from DAFM and milk processors to maintain financial supports over a four year period.  This funding will assist herdowners to carry out whole herd testing, Veterinary Risk Assessment and Management Planning (VRAMP) and ancillary testing where required. A funded Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) is available to positive herds.


Programme Structure
The programme structure clearly identifies the role that different activities contribute to a national control initiative.

The main focus of the programme at herd level is to generate increasing assurance that a herd has a low risk of having Johne’s disease, and to enable effective mitigation of spread and impacts of Johne’s disease in infected herds.

  • Regular Veterinary Risk Assessments and Management Plans (VRAMPs) undertaken by approved veterinary practitioners (AVPs)
  • An annual herd test (one blood or one milk sample per eligible animal) for all herds.
  • Ancillary testing of faecal samples (by PCR) following ELISA test-positive results in herds where infection has not already been confirmed (by previous faecal-positive result).
  • A veterinary investigation, funded through the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH), following positive ancillary test results.

In addition national bulk tank milk testing is to be introduced by DAFM to provide national screening of all herds (case finding) and recruit them into the programme where necessary.

Communication and awareness activities provide farmers with readily accessible information about the Johne’s disease and biosecurity.

Financial supports

Whole herd testing

Milk processors are providing financial support to their dairy suppliers for whole herd testing for three years (test-negative pathway) or four years (test-positive pathway).

The level of financial support available to all herdowners, in their first year of registration is €2.75 per eligible animal tested.

Thereafter, funding for herds in the test-negative pathway will be in accordance with the information set out below.

Year of registration Funding support/eligible animal
1 €2.75
2 €2.06
3 €1.38
4 Nil*

Herds in the test-positive pathway are to receive €2.75 per eligible animal in each of the first four years of the programme.

It is anticipated that after four consecutive years of test-negative results, herds will move to a lower-intensity maintenance testing programme – details of which are to be announced in the near future.

For dairy farmers that are receiving financial support for testing from their milk processor, DAFM is providing funds to meet the costs of the veterinary risk assessment and management plan (VRAMPs) when carried out by the nominated Approved Veterinary Practitioner (AVP) and where this is a required activity.

Ancillary testing
DAFM is providing funds to meet the costs of ancillary testing in herds where infection has not already been confirmed (by previous faecal-positive result).

TASAH Veterinary investigation
The Rural Development Programme is providing funds to meet the costs of a TASAH investigation for all herds following positive ancillary test results.

NOTE: Required programme activities of VRAMP and whole herd test, must be completed before the financial support for whole herd testing is paid.

Awareness resources
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.

The Animal Health Ireland website provides essential details and supporting information.  A simple, but comprehensive guide to the IJCP activities and links to further information is available here.  Information is also available from approved veterinary practitioners and dairy milk processors.

How to register
To register for the Programme you should follow the easy registration process Click here


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