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Johne’s Disease Programme update

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During 2019, year 1 of phase 2 of the Irish Johne’s Disease Control Programme, a stand-out finding was that less than one third of herds had completed both VRAMP and Whole Herd Test (WHT) by the beginning of December.

This resulted in significant last-minute activity over the holiday period, with pressure on both farmers and their approved veterinary practitioners (AVPs) to ensure that programme requirements were met. Both VRAMP and WHT need to be completed in order for herds to qualify for payment by Glanbia Ireland for testing either milk or blood samples as part of the programme. Even with an extension of the deadline to the end of January 2020 several herds were still unable to meet these requirements. It is unlikely a similar extension of the deadline into next year will be granted by AHI, therefore it is important the following actions are completed before the end of this year:

1. Schedule the WHT through your milk recording company or AVP to be:

  • Before the middle of December to allow time for test results to be uploaded to ICBF before year-end
  • At least 180 days after the 2019 WHT commenced
  • At least 90 days after TB herd testing
  • At least 7 days after calving
  • Including all animals in the herd over two years old on the day of sampling


2. Identify non-breeding animals in agreement with your AVP. These animals need to be listed on the notification form available from the AHI website and will exempt those animals from being tested. This applies to a separate beef enterprise on the farm, not the dairy cull cows being kept for slaughter.


3. Plan the ‘sweeper test’ with your AVP to sample all remaining eligible animals in the herd (bulls, heifers over 2 years old, dry & cull cows) before the middle of December.


4. Schedule a date with your AVP to complete the 2020 VRAMP before the middle of December.


5. Do not cull animals from your herd without discussing their 2020 test requirements or Johne’s disease status with your AVP. Carrying out the confirmatory PCR test on these animals where necessary can have a big impact on the next steps in the programme for your herd.

Glanbia Ireland will reimburse the lab costs involved in testing either milk or blood samples as part of the Irish Johne’s Disease Control Programme when both VRAMP and WHT are completed in 2020:

  • Herds in the Test Negative Pathway will receive €2.06/tested animal
  • Herds in the Test Positive Pathway will receive €2.75/tested animal
  • Herds in the first year of participation in the programme will receive €2.75/tested animal

First Published on 20 November 2020

Tagged with: Dairy

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