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Beating Johne's Disease

04 December 2009

UK - The UK dairy industry took the first step towards a national programme to tackle Johne’s disease yesterday (3 December), at a special conference organised by Dairy UK.

Experts from the UK and further afield presented examples of successful control and prevention strategies which will help to feed into a new UK programme in coming months.


Roger Evans, Chairman of the UK Dairy Farmers Forum

Johne’s is a wasting disease in cattle which is both a welfare challenge and an economic drain on dairy farmers, giving the industry a powerful incentive to stamp the disease out.

Dairy UK Director General Jim Begg said: "The UK Dairy Farmers Forum has been looking at Johne’s for some time, and recently asked the board of Dairy UK to take action. Since then Defra has released the results of a survey on the prevalence of the disease.

"The estimate that 34.7 per cent of herds are affected by the disease comes in at the lower end of our expectations. But while prevalence may be lower than in some other European countries, this figure confirms that Dairy UK is right to be seeking an industry wide response to the issue.

“The UK must draw lessons from today’s conference, and in particular, Denmark’s experience of tackling Johne’s disease. And by setting up an industry forum to develop a national Johne’s strategy, Dairy UK and its partners have already taken the first step towards controlling and preventing the disease.”

Roger Evans, Chairman of the UK Dairy Farmers Forum said: “We’ve known for some time that cattle imports represent a high Johne’s risk, so stamping out this disease is going to take discipline from farmers, as well as investment in cheaper, more reliable tests and education about the most effective control strategies. It is vital that the dairy industry takes these steps.”

 

TheCattleSite News Desk



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