Animal Health Ireland (AHI) has announced Dr. Liam Doyle as the new manager of its Johne’s disease programme.

Johne’s disease is a bacterial disease of cattle and other ruminants for which there is no cure. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP).

The Irish Johne’s Control Programme (IJCP), operated by AHI, is developing a long-term programme to control Johne’s disease within the Irish cattle industry.

Some of the common symptoms of Johne’s disease are:

  • Reduced production, lower milk yields and lower feed conversion efficiency;
  • Weight loss, despite a good appetite;
  • Scour (not bloody) and ultimately emaciation;
  • Soft swelling of the jaw or brisket;
  • Death.
Dr. Liam Doyle

Johne’s disease

Commenting on the appointment Dr. David Graham CEO of AHI stated: “I am delighted to welcome Liam to AHI.

“His experience and skillset will contribute significantly to the role of programme manager, enabling him to build on the work of Lawrence Gavey and to further enhance the Irish Johne’s Control Programme.”

Dr. Doyle replaces Lawrence Gavey who has recently returned home to Australia.

Following graduation from University College Dublin (UCD) in 1995 with a degree in veterinary medicine, Dr. Doyle worked as a veterinary practitioner in a mixed practice in Co. Armagh.

In 2001 he took up a post at the College of Agriculture and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Enniskillen, teaching both agriculture and equine students at the college.

Then, for a period from 2006 to 2013, he worked with Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Veterinary Services focusing on the global emergence of avian influenza alongside contingency planning for other epizootic diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and swine fever.

In 2013, Liam Doyle moved to the veterinary epidemiology unit (VEU) of DAERA where his main focus was bovine tuberculosis (bTB) research alongside epizootic disease duties and management of disease-based data sets, vital to production of quality assured epidemiological outputs.

Alongside a degree in veterinary medicine from UCD, Doyle holds a PhD from Utrecht University on the epidemiological investigation of chronic bovine tuberculosis breakdowns in Northern Ireland.

He also holds an MSc in veterinary epidemiology and public health from University of London; a Bachelor of Science ( Bsc Hons) in mathematical science from the Open University; a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in computer science from the Open University; a certificate in communications from Loughry College CAFRE; and a certificate in machine learning applications from the London School of Economics.