We had a fantastic day at the Action Johne’s Open Day at East Pitforthie Farm in Brechin, Scotland.
The day started off with Mr Ian Milne giving an introduction to the farm, explaining what implications Johne’s disease has had on his farm and how they as a family have managed to overcome this. Mr Milne has had a superb success rate in lowering the number of cows with Johne’s disease from 35% to 2%, which has been achieved through using the Improved Farm Management: Test and Cull control strategy of the National Action Johne’s Management Plan. To read more about the Milne Family farm why not read their case study.
Following on from this, Tim Geraghty, the Centre Manager for SAC in Aberdeen gave an in depth talk on the cycle of Johne’s disease including how it can start, how it spreads from cow to cow, how the disease can then advance into becoming a debilitating problem, to the potential of it becoming a widespread disease ending in death if not controlled in the first instance. This included the biosecurity hotspots and what to look out for to rectify the problem.
Katie Adam’s from SRUC then led on from this giving a brief of the history of the background behind Action Johne’s and the Paraban scheme. Throughout Scotland the Paraban scheme found that through industry collaboration Johne’s disease was able to be tackled by using the correct approach. This been echoed by the National Johne’s Management Plan promoting the control of Johne’s disease throughout Britain. Katie then discussed all of the control strategies which the National Johne’s Management Plan advise to put in place, these being:
1) Biosecurity and Monitor
2) Improved Farm Management
3) Improved Farm Management and Strategic Testing
4) Improved Farm Management Test and Cull
5) Breed to Terminal Sire
6) Firebreak Vaccination
For more information, visit our control strategies page.
Mr Milne then gave a tour of the farm showing the systems they have in place, including the ear tag categorisation they use to decipher which cows have a history of Johne’s from their own accord or their blood line. This three coloured tag system uses a white tag that indicates an animal classed as clear, a blue tag shows the grand-dam tested positive for Johne’s disease and finally a yellow tag shows the animal was snatch calved.
Overall a very informative and interesting day experienced by all and we look forward to the opportunity of future open days