Study shows Johne's disease can be controlled affordably
For the past six years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine's Dr. Mike Collins, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, United States Department of Agriculture and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has conducted a trial on nine Wisconsin diary herds ranging from 72 to 1,400 cows.
Based purely on ELISA tests of blood samples taken annually as a cow enters milk production, producers have culled strongly positive cows and managed mildly positive cows differently. By the time heifers reached their first lactation, the incidence of Johne's disease was significantly lower than expected.
"The purpose is to demonstrate to veterinarians and producers that Johne's disease control is both possible and affordable," Collins says.
The ELISA blood tests cost less than $10 per cow, per year.
The test may become more affordable if current studies reveal that the same results are possible by testing milk samples as opposed to blood.