Johne's next in AHI sights as industry continues to fight vital war on disease
The BVD eradication scheme is well into its voluntary year of testing. The response in the beef sector has been very good with more than 43pc of participating herds coming from the beef suckler side.
BVD is every bit as big a problem in the beef herd as it is in the dairy sector.
The novel breakthrough in the testing method to discover persistently infected (PI) carriers at or around the time of birth has had an enormously beneficial effect.
As we speak, Animal Health Ireland (AHI) is identifying those PI animals in the participating herds, and plucking them out of the system at the very outset.
This is like plucking a weed before it grows or goes to seed. It rids the disease at its source.
With all parts of the cattle industry pulling together, it is very possible to rid this country entirely of BVD.
Johne's Disease (paratuberculosis johneii) is next in the sights of AHI. This is a disease from the same family of bacteria as TB.
It is a slow, debilitating disease that causes chronic scour over a period of years from young adulthood until the animal wastes away to a lingering death.