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Coveney Announces Further Funding for Animal Health Ireland's Johne's Disease Control Programme

-Continuation of Pilot Programme in 2014 and boost to Food Harvest 2020 Objectives-

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, T.D. today announced that his Department will commit significant additional funding amounting to €250,000 toward the continuation of Animal Health Ireland’s Johne’s Disease Control Programme in 2014.  The Minister described the initiative as a further important building block in terms of the achievement of our Food Harvest 2020 objectives. 

Making this announcement, Minister Coveney said “one of the most importance components of the Johne’s Disease Controlprogramme is a veterinary on-farm risk assessment and management advisory visit, the objective of which is to provide a framework for the herdowner and his/her nominated veterinary practitioner to identify any farm practices that might constitute a risk of introduction or spread of Johne’s Disease within the farm”.

The assessment is carried out by an approved veterinary practitioner in partnership with the herdowner and examines five elements of farm management, namely animal movement history, calf management, heifer management, cow management and management of the calving cow.  Having identified the on-farm risks, the veterinary practitioner and farmer agree number of practicable management changes with a view to mitigating those risks identified.

Concluding, the Minister said  “the pilot programme has  already had a successful take-up in 2013 and the further funding which I am now announcing will enable a significant additional number of farmers to take part in a programme that has clear benefits in terms of the planned expansion of the dairy sector and in meeting the Food Harvest 2020  target.

Date Released: 29 January 2014