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Update on the TB control program and calf health Rob Drysdale MRCVS

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Update on the TB control program and calf health Rob Drysdale MRCVS Westpoint Veterinary Group Ltd. Why are we here?. Follow up from spring plenary meeting Suggestion of BCEF to review current TB controls and calf health implications Strategy Team – meeting inter-plenary:

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Update on the TB control program and calf health

Rob Drysdale MRCVS

Westpoint Veterinary Group Ltd

why are we here
Why are we here?
  • Follow up from spring plenary meeting
  • Suggestion of BCEF to review current TB controls and calf health implications
  • Strategy Team – meeting inter-plenary:
    • Current TB control
    • Future changes – AQUs from January 2013
    • Producer feedback to proposed changes?
background
Background
  • Westpoint practice report May plenary
  • Variation TB controls differed across UK
  • 65 dairy units from 211 dairy farms at that time were/had been under restriction
  • >1,000 B&W bull calves shot in last year
  • Only in SW were AQUs and AFUs really working to manage TB restricted calves
  • Problem growing across UK?
aqus in england
AQUs in England
  • 135 registered premises in England
  • Handling around 20,000 calves per year
  • From small to large scale units
  • Blade Farming:
    • 6 x AQUs in operation
    • Handling ~3,000 calves/year
    • 15% of all calves through 5% of units
    • Supplying calves to finishing across SW
aqus in england 2
AQUs in England (2)
  • Moratorium on AQUs for 18 months
  • EU concerns over biosecurity and control for TB spread:
    • DEFRA – AHVLA review
    • Deficiencies in several AQUs visited
    • Pressure on UK to remove this “loophole”
  • Change in legislation from January 2013:
    • All AQUs final intake
    • Cease operations from last batch out
defra changes tbin 05 12
DEFRA changes TBIN 05-12
  • TB information note on DEFRA website
  • http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/files/tb-infonote-1205-changes-to-movements.pdf
  • Removal of AQUs
  • Implementation of new “Feeder AFUs”
  • Restocking and other testing guidance
  • Changes in AFU testing requirements
assured finishing units
Assured Finishing Units
  • Currently 109 AFUs licensed in England
  • All based in SW and Midlands
    • SW region = 73 units
    • Midlands = 36 units
  • Cattle from multiple TB restricted farms
  • Finishing to move straight to slaughter
  • AHVLA undertake inspections
  • Regular TB testing
update from january 2013
Update from January 2013
  • No AQUs – to be phased out
  • New “feeder AFU” category
  • AFU category – change towards a more open system
  • Split AFUs proposed:
    • Risk based management
    • With grazing licence (TB tested still)
    • Without grazing (no/minimal TB testing)
new afus
New AFUs
  • Currently 60 AFUs licensed with grazing
    • SW region = 43 units
    • Midlands = 17 units
  • High risk of spread and potential for wildlife exposure?
  • Short term continue testing grazing AFUs
  • Long term remove licenses/phase out?
  • Only 40% of AFUs have no grazing
feeder afus
Feeder AFUs
  • Take calves from multiple TB restricted holdings
  • Rear calves through to then move on under licence to finishing AFU
  • Risk based management
  • AHVLA inspection
  • Designed solely for calves to certain point
what is really needed
What is really needed?
  • Consider number TB restricted holdings?
  • Latest DEFRA stats to August ‘12
    • England currently at >5,500 herds under TB2
  • Take a single region:
    • SW was >3,400 herds under TB2 (1,600 new)
    • SW >3,500,000 head of cattle tested
    • SW OTF herd 18,400
    • Demand for AFU system is very high
what is really needed 2
What is really needed? (2)
  • Old AQU/AFU system handled:
    • ~20,000 calves/year
    • >100,000 head all TB animals/year
  • Require at least 50% of old AQUs to move to feeder AFUs to stand still?
  • Demand for beef high now but...
    • Feed costs high but price rising?
    • Beef “throughput” down year on year 8%
can the new system work
Can the new system work?
  • Feedback from Blade AQUs is promising
  • AFU system may be more flexible in TB endemic areas:
    • Take calves earlier into AFU system
    • Create market for currently low value animals
    • Many more units required
  • Best practice needed – still potential disease risk eg colostrum management, Cryptosporidiosis, Coccidiosis etc.
as a vet what is needed
As a vet what is needed?
  • Need to consider special requirements for young calves = planning with vet?
  • Multi source calves
  • Multiple disease risks
  • Management:
    • Size for age
    • Exposure and temperature
    • Feeding and time

CONSIDER COSTS