Taking It to the Next Level...
The Alberta Johne’s Disease Initiative (AJDI) Advisory committee is proud to announce the launch of the optional Herd Status Program, an additional level to the education and awareness initiative introduced in the fall of 2010. The committee worked closely with Dr. Gerald Ollis and other dairy industry representatives across Alberta to develop the Herd Status Program which is now ready to be put to use by Alberta dairy producers.
What is the AJDI Herd Status Program?
The AJDI offers a voluntary herd status program option for those cattle herds with a low prevalence of animals infected with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP).
Who can participate in the Herd Status program?
Owners of herds with low prevalence of MAP may wish to advance beyond the initial control and management of Johne’s Disease (JD) and demonstrate the low prevalence of MAP in their herds for marketing or other purposes. A Johne’s Disease Risk Assessment must have been completed for the herd and the Johne’s Disease Management Plan implemented.
I used to be a part of the old Alberta Agriculture program and completed some testing through DHI. Do I have to start all over?
NO! Producers who previously participated in a JD control program may apply for “grandfathering” for the Herd Status Program. Grandfathering would reward those herds that implemented efforts to control JD and have maintained some degree of herd testing. The AJDI Technical Committee will assess whether or not the herd in question qualifies for Level 1 or Level 2 status. Grandfathering to Levels 3 or 4 will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. If you wish to be considered for grandfathering contact the AJDI Program Coordinator and she will be able to assist you in preparing background information to be submitted to the Technical Committee.
What criteria are used to determine whether or not my herd will be grandfathered into the Herd Status Program?
- Status achieved by the herd during participation in a previous JD control program;
- Amount and type of MAP testing conducted over the past five years, the accreditation or quality control status of the testing laboratory, and the results of all MAP testing;
- Disease history of the herd, including JD, for the past five years;
- History of potential herd exposure to MAP over the past five years;
- History of adding susceptible species to the herd over the past five years;
- Source(s) of herd additions over the past five years;
- Herd biosecurity measures presently in place and the approximate year(s) in which they were implemented.
How quickly can I reach Level 4?
Except in a case of grandfathering, once a herd joins the Herd Status Program, it will take a minimum of three years for the herd to achieve Level 4.
When will my herd be Johne’s-free?
Due to the nature of JD and the difficulty in detecting animals subclinically infected with MAP, herds cannot be certified as Johne's disease-free. The intent of Herd Status Program is to lower the risk of MAP existing in a participating herd as it advances from Level 1 through Level 4.
For more information on this initiative, please contact Jodi Flaig, Alberta Milk’s Industry Development Coordinator at 1-877-361-1231 ext. 3307 or jflaig@ albertamilk.com.
source: Alberta Milk MilkingTimes newsletter, November 2011
author: Emily McDonald, Industry Development Coordinator