In 2005-2006 several partners in the Irish dairy industry were considering to start the National Herd Health Initiative (HHI). The aim of this initiative is to improve the health of cattle in Ireland. Our customer wanted to gain experience with control programmes for infectious diseases in dairy herds in two areas: laboratory analysis and IT/ processes.
Project proposal/ set up:
GD and the customer had some meetings in Ireland and also discussed the content of the project by phone and email. Based on the information of Irish farms and GD’s experience with animal health programmes, six diseases were included in the pilot project. These were BVD, IBR, Leptospirose, Salmonellosis, Paratuberculosis and Neosporosis. The sample size and period of sampling was based on the development of the diseases, prevalence of the disease and goal of the programme. The sample material was bulk milk per herd and serum samples of individual samples. Our customer chose 24 herds which would participate in this
pilot project. These herds had an average size of 185 animals per herd. After the approval of our customer, GD provided all the sampling material, customized barcode labels, submission forms, packaging material etc. and coordinated the project.
Results of the project:
The GD laboratory analysed the samples after receipt. The test results were reported to the customer in Ireland. All test results were also analysed on herd level and on project level by the epidemiology department of GD. The final report included a summary of the test results, the epidemiological analysis and conclusions and recommendations for the following steps to set up a control programme.
Reason to cooperate with GD:
GD were considered to be leaders in this area and after discussions were seen to be the correct partner for this body of work.