Department launch service to help farmers with animal health issues

A new Targeted Advisory Service to help farmers to deal with certain animal health issues arising on Irish farms has been launched today.

Launching the service the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Simon Coveney said the availability of the new targeted advisory service will assist farmers who are experiencing difficulty in dealing with a number of diseases that give rise to less than optimum returns from their farms.

Diseases covered:

  • Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)
  • Johne’s Disease (JD)
  • SCC(mastitis)

It is expected that up to 2,500 farmers may avail of the on-farm animal health advisory sessions in the first year 2016, with the focus of the first year of the service will be on BVD and Johne’s Disease. Each year these diseases give rise to substantial losses in production on Irish farms, thus having a detrimental effect on farm income”.

“Each year these diseases give rise to substantial losses in production on Irish farms, thus having a detrimental effect on farm income,” according to the Minister.

He says the Cost-Benefit Analysis carried out on the BVD eradication programme showed that the elimination of this disease alone will provide farmers with a gain of over €100 million per annum.

In the case of Johne’s disease, the new Targeted Advisory Service will be used to provide a sustainable basis for the delivery of the on-farm risk assessments within the programme, thereby facilitating a transition from the current pilot phase, in which some 1,300 farmers are participating, to a future expanded national voluntary programme.

How it works

Minister Coveney said that Animal Health Ireland has already commenced its country wide specialised training Programme of private veterinary practitioners who will, in turn, deliver the advisory sessions and herd investigations at an individual farm level.

In the coming weeks, AHI will commence accepting applications from farmers wishing to participate in the new animal health services and will coordinate these requests with the trained veterinary specialists.