Biosecurity risks of paratuberculosis in UK dairy herds

UK dairy farms are at high risk of significant infection with Paratuberculosis, since dairy husbandry practices that allow the entry and spread of the disease are being commonly used.

In a study UK veterinarians analysed the risks of Paratuberculosis entering and spreading within the UK dairy herd. The aim was to identify high risk herds and to engage farmers in prevention and control programs. The data was collected in a voluntary paratuberculosis engagement program to raise awareness of Johne’s disease, and more than 2000 UK dairy herds participated in the program between 2008 and 2011. A web based risk management program www.myhealthyherd.com and milk tests were utilized, with the aim to encourage famers to know their Paratuberculosis risks and disease status.

The results formed the basis of any prevention and control plan, dependent upon the current infection status of the herd. High risk herds that were not currently infected were provided with a protection plan, and infected herds were provided with an effective control programme.

Of 2216 dairy herds that submitted complete data, 53% were categorised as being at high risk of Paratuberculosis entering the herd.

The main reasons for risk:

• Introduction of cattle of unknown disease status into the herd (53% have purchased groups of cows of unknown disease status).

• Allowing youngstock to drink from watercourses that have passed through another cattle farm (35%)

• Spreading slurry from other farms onto their youngstock grazing pastures (5%)

The risks of spread were higher than the risks of entry, with 78% having high risks of spreading the disease within the herd.

Main reasons of risk:

• Use of multi-occupancy calving yards (70%)

• Frequent use of pooled, untreated colostrums for feeding replacement heifer calves (34%).

In all, 30 separate risk factors have been analysed:

1.Calving area:

Multiple animal use

Manure build up

Calves born in cow areas

Calving area also used for sick cows

JD clinicals/suspects in area

Newborns stay with cows after birth

Calves nurse cows

Manure soiling of calving-cow udders

2. Pre-weaned calves:

Fed pooled colostrum/multiple cows

Fed pooled milk

Calves have direct cow contact

Calves housed near cows

Potential for contamination of milk, feed, water or pen with cow manure

3. Post-weaned calves:

Direct contact with cows manure

Potential for contamination of milk, feed, water or pen with cow manure

Share feed, water, pen with cows

Share pasture with cows

Manure spread on pasture and grazed same season

Contamination of feed equipment

4. Bred heifers:

Direct contact with cows manure

Potential for contamination of feed, water or housing with cow manure

Share feed, water, pen with cows

Share pasture with cows

Manure spread on pasture and grazed same season

Contamination of feed equipment

5. Cows:

Contamination of feed or water

Manure contamination of storage feed or feed equipment

Manure spread on pasture and grazed same season

Access to manure storage areas

Link to Handbook

Source: Proceedings World Buiatrics Congress 2012

Abstract: Biosecurity risks and bio-containment risks of paratuberculosis in UK dairy herds
Authors: Sibley James, R.; Orpin Guy P.; Pearse H.
Westridge Veterinary Group, United Kingdom

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Source

Source: Proceedings World Buiatrics Congress 2012
Abstract: Biosecurity risks and bio-containment risks of paratuberculosis in UK dairy herds
Authors: Sibley James, R.; Orpin Guy P.; Pearse H.
Westridge Veterinary Group, United Kingdom