Controlling paratuberculosis using milk tests and risk management
A voluntary paratuberculosis engagement program in the UK engaged over 2000 dairy herds between 2008 and 2011, utilising a standardised web based risk management program (www.myhealthyherd.com) and milk tests with the aim to encourage famers to know their Paratuberculosis risks and disease status.
A web based relational database was created which allowed vets, labs, monitoring organisations and farmers to manage the health of cattle herds. A specific Johne’s Disease module was created which assessed the risk of disease entry, spread, predicted prevalence and also allowed the development of farm specific strategies for control, biosecurity and biocontainment for paratuberculosis. Electronic storage of lab results and traffic light scoring of risks and status allowed farmers to clearly understand the risks and likely future prevalence of Johne’s disease if these risks were not managed effectively.
The use of the Myhealthyherd tool was combined with targeted sampling of 30 high risk cows from the herd providing the farmer with an understanding of his own risks and status. Farmers received a consistent education program delivered through milk processors using trained consultant veterinarians. The engagement program has progressed to more effective veterinary led control plans being applied in specific regions of the UK utilising funding routes for farmer training.
Within 6 months over 20% of farmers in the South West of England have engaged with the program. 6 possible control strategies could be adopted by the farmers and the Myhealthyherd program scores the robustness of the plan according to the agreed tasks selected.
The aim is to expand the program to a wider national commercially driven control with the objective of reducing the risks of spread of paratuberculosis within the UK dairy herd. The program seeks to include all dairy farms in a control program that offers both protection for low prevalence herds and control for infected herds using bespoke options defined by the guidance of the vet and the aspirations of the farmer.
Source: Proceedings World Buiatrics Congress 2012
Abstract: Controlling paratuberculosis in uk dairy herds using milk tests and risk management
Authors: Orpin Guy, P.; Sibley James R.; Pearse H.
Park Vet Group, United Kingdom