Dairy Event 2011: Johne’s shock statistics

A Johne’s infected cow produces enough faeces in one day to infect up to 50,000 calves – that was the shock message delivered to farmers at this year’s Dairy Event and Livestock Show.

Speaking at a farm health planning seminar, Peter Orpin from The Park Vet Group said Johne’s was predominantly a sub-clinical disease causing financial loss to many farmers.

“If Johne’s becomes established in the herd you will see an increase in emergency culling and the consequence is that you have reduced the ability to cull for other reasons,” he added.

“Once you start testing herds and looking for the disease you will actually start seeing the infected animals and that’s when the penny is going to drop.”

Dick Sibley from West Ridge Vet Practice said farmers failing to test for and control Johne’s were not doing themselves any favours, and recommended working towards certifying your herd as low prevalence and low risk for the disease.

“This isn’t a problem you have to have, and if you catch it early you can deal with it effectively.  It’s very cost effective to control and getting a robust plan in place will help you.”

For more coverage on the Dairy Event 2011 go to our dedicated area.