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Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland

Sayers R.G.,Teagasc | Sayers G.P.,Epsilion Ltd | Graham D.A.,Animal Health Ireland | Arkins S.,University of Limerick
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2015

Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is endemic in many countries and vaccines are used as a component of control and eradication strategies. Surveillance programmes to detect exposure to BVDV often incorporate the use of bulk milk (BM) testing for antibodies against BVDV p80 (NS3), but vaccination can interfere with these results. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether BVDV vaccines would confound BM testing for specific antibodies in a nationally representative group of commercial dairy farms in the Republic of Ireland. A total of 256 commercial dairy herds were included in the statistical analysis. Quarterly BM or serum samples from selected weanling heifers (unvaccinated homeborn youngstock) were assessed by ELISA for antibodies against the BVDV p80 subunit and whole virus. Wilcoxon rank-sum and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were used to examine differences among groups vaccinated with one of three commercially available inactivated BVDV vaccines. Two of the three vaccines showed evidence of interference with ELISA testing of BM samples. ROC analysis highlighted that one vaccine did not reduce the discriminatory power of the BVDV p80 ELISA for identification of herds with evidence of recent BVDV circulation, when compared with unvaccinated herds; thus, administration of this vaccine would allow uncomplicated interpretation of BM ELISA test results in vaccinated seropositive herds. Seasonal differences in BM antibody results were identified, suggesting that the latter half of lactation is the most suitable time for sampling dairy herds containing predominantly spring calving cows. The results of the present study are likely to prove useful in countries allowing vaccination during or following BVDV eradication, where BM testing is required as part of the surveillance strategy. © 2015 The Authors. Source

Geraghty T.,University of Glasgow | Graham D.A.,Animal Health Ireland | Mullowney P.,Training Section | More S.J.,University College Dublin
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2014

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is endemic in the bovine populations of many countries and can cause a significant reduction in animal welfare and production efficiency making control desirable. Effective control has proved very difficult to achieve despite multiple regionally coordinated programmes being in existence since the 1920s. The international community increasingly recognises the value in learning from the collective experiences of existing programmes to improve the effectiveness of control. The aim of this review is to outline key aspects of bovine Johne's disease control activities across 6 endemically infected countries to facilitate comparison of current international practice. The background, control activities and monitoring components of programmes in Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America were individually reviewed. Factual accuracy of each review was checked by individuals involved in the respective programmes before the reviews were condensed and combined into a single document presented here, with the complete reviews of each programme available as supplementary material. There was considerable heterogeneity in key aspects of control activity design including goals, responses to declining participation, herd classification, recommended control measures and associated test requirements. The data presented will be of interest to organisations that are involved in developing new or existing regionally coordinated BJD control activities. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Morel S.J.,University College Dublin | Doherty M.L.,University College Dublin | Downey L.,1 Beech Park Grove | McKenzie K.,University College Dublin | And 2 more authors.
OIE Revue Scientifique et Technique | Year: 2011

Livestock production plays an important role in the Irish economy. Regulatory animal health issues are the responsibility of government, but until recently there has been no national coordination of non-regulatory animal health issues. This gap has recently been filled with the establishment of Animal Health Ireland (AHI), a not-for-profit, partnership-based organisation providing national leadership and coordination of non-regulatory animal health issues in Ireland. Animal Health Ireland provides benefits to livestock producers and processors by providing the knowledge, education and coordination required to establish effective control strategies, both on-farm and nationally. This paper presents a brief overview of the context for AHI, and of its establishment and initial activities. Non-regulatory animal health issues have been prioritised. A series of work programmes (each focusing on a high-priority issue) have been established. Partnership is critical to success, both for AHI as an organisation and for effective farm-level transfer of knowledge. This model for national leadership and coordination of non-regulatory animal health issues may be of relevance elsewhere. Source

McInnes C.J.,Moredun Research Institute | Coulter L.,Moredun Research Institute | Dagleish M.P.,Moredun Research Institute | Deane D.,Moredun Research Institute | And 11 more authors.
Animal Conservation | Year: 2013

The native red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris population in Britain has been on the decline for many years. A poxvirus associated with the introduced American grey squirrel S. carolinensis has been recognized as having a major role in the reduction of red squirrel numbers by causing a deleterious disease, known as squirrelpox, from which they seldom recover. In Ireland, red squirrel numbers have also been reducing while the grey squirrel population, first introduced in 1911, has been expanding. Until now, no poxvirus-associated disease had been found in Irish red squirrels and therefore, the role of squirrelpox in the displacement of red squirrels by grey squirrels in Ireland has been questioned. Here we report, for the first time, confirmed squirrelpox disease in two populations of red squirrels in Northern Ireland. In addition, we present serological evidence of the extent of poxvirus infection in the grey squirrels from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including an apparent increase in the seroprevalence of antibodies against the virus in grey squirrels over the period of the study, and discuss the implications of our findings for the conservation tactics employed to protect red squirrels. © 2012 The Zoological Society of London. Source

McKenzie K.,Trinity College Dublin | More S.J.,University College Dublin | Heanue K.,Teagasc | McCoy F.,Animal Health Ireland
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

Ireland plays a key role in contributing to the global supply of dairy produce, and increasing international demand, as well as the abolition of milk quotas in the European Union in 2015, present opportunities for the Irish milk industry. Improving milk quality is required to maximize these opportunities. National action on milk quality is spearheaded by Animal Health Ireland, yet the potential for collective action at an industry level is undermined by the inability of individual stakeholders to accept responsibility for action. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with n = 12 stakeholder representatives. The theoretical concepts of collective action (i.e., when a group of people with a shared interest undertake some kind of voluntary common action in pursuit of that shared interest) is applied to understanding the results and identifying a collective way forward. Though consensus is apparent on the need to improve milk quality, differences exist about individual responsibility and the best way to achieve higher quality standards. The propensity for collective action is undermined by shifting responsibility to other stakeholders, stakeholder positions, trust concerns, and concerns over the commitment of other stakeholders to cooperate. Understanding how collective action works provides Animal Health Ireland with a knowledge framework in which to build stakeholder consensus. The paper concludes with practical examples of how Animal Health Ireland continues to apply this understanding by bringing individual stakeholders together to achieve milk quality improvement. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Source

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