Farming

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Johne's season is upon us

The Johne's control programme is well underway at this stage and if you're not part of it, then go and join tomorrow morning.

Johne's is one nasty son-of-a-gun and the Irish dairy sector would be well wise to put control protocols into place to deal with it.

The critical point of control for Johne's disease is the calving period.

This bacteria passes from dam to offspring in the calving box.

When the newborn calf's stomach lining is open to receive the larger proteins of colostrum or first milk, it is also open to being infected by the Johne's bacteria.

Johne's bacteria come primarily from the cow's faeces and also from the cow's colostrum.

So now is the time to identify any potentially infected dams.

Don't feed her colostrum to any calf.

Keep her dung clear of the calving area.

And protect the newborn calf from all sources of infection - dung and colostrum from an infected adult.

Seek veterinary advice to control this slow, debilitating disease, and put action plans in place before the onset of this spring calving period.

Make sure you are also suspicious of any newly acquired cattle, which can be the Trojan horse that brings the disease onto the farm.

Indo Farming