Lyndon Edwards, Chairman of the Action Group on Johne's and of the Dairy UK Farmers Forum, said:
"The industry-wide consultation of the draft project made it clear that the dairy industry wants to work together to tackle this disease. International experience has shown that if a rigorous control program is instituted and applied robustly, Johne's disease can be brought under control. This is confirmed by my own personal experience as a dairy farmer who has been successfully managing the disease on my farm for seven years."
Derek Armstrong, AHDB Dairy programme manager for endemic diseases, said: “We are funding the Action Johne’s Initiative because we are confident it will generate significant commercial gains to dairy farmers through healthier and more productive animals. Johne’s has a major impact on industry profitability but can be managed in a cost effective manner. The initiative will also demonstrate the industry’s commitment to improving standards of animal welfare.”
Rob Harrison, NFU Dairy Board Chairman, said: “It is vitally important that as an industry, we manage Johne’s disease if we are to remain competitive and have a sustainable future for the dairy sector. There are huge potential cost benefits to be had by getting on top of this disease and we welcome the introduction of this initiative.”
NFU Scotland’s Animal Health and Welfare Policy Manager, Penny Johnston said: “While Johne’s is a difficult disease to tackle, this unified approach across the dairy sector is welcome and provides an excellent platform to make serious inroads into its incidence. At farm level, we need to lift the stigma attached to infection and offer support and advice to any affected producers so they have a clear route to removing the disease from their stock.”
Dr Hazel Wright, FUW Senior Policy Officer, said: “The Union recognises the importance of tackling this costly disease and has engaged in the development of this initiative in order to give voice to the perspectives and needs of farmers in Wales. The Union will continue to remain involved in order to ensure that the maximum benefits of this valuable initiative are provided to Wales.”