Johne's Disease Programme-Overview

What is Johne's Disease? 

 For more details on disease click here.

The AHWNI JDCP is a voluntary programme. Herd owners wishing to enrol in the programme may do so by contacting AHWNI directly (028 79639333) or by email

Objectives of the Programme 

1. To provide herdowners with the various programme components, including data handling, diagnostic and on-farm advisory elements, that are required to support a robust and internationally recognised Johne's Disease control programme in Northern Ireland with the following goals:

a.Bio-exclusion. To identify those herds that test negative for Johne's disease and provide these farmers with the knowledge and professional support to allow them to increase their confidence over time of being free of infection and to protect their herds from the on-going risk of introduction of this disease. 

b. Bio-containment. To provide herds identified by the programme, or otherwise, as being infected or having a low confidence of freedom from infection, with the knowledge and professional supports to allow them to control and reduce the prevalence of the disease over time and ultimately to achieve a high confidence of freedom from infection.

c. Market reassurance. To underpin the quality of Northern Irish dairy produce in the international marketplace. 

2.To generate information in relation to the control of Johne's disease on dairy farms in Northern Ireland, including that relating to the economics of the disease and its control, in order to assist the future development of the AHWNI Johne's Control Programme. 

How does the pilot programme work?

Approved veterinary practitioners have under gone specific training provided by AHWNI. These approved vets can carry out on site farm risk assessment and disease management advisory visit (VRAMA). Details of approved veterinary practitioners can be found by clicking here

The Programme consists of three principal components;


The AHWNI Johne's Disease Control Programme is voluntary. Dairy herd owners wishing to enrol in the programme may do so by contacting AHWNI directly on 028 8778 9126 or by completing and returning the enrolment form to AHWNI.


2. Herd Screening

All animals in the herd over 2 years of age at the date of testing must be included in a herd screen which must be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Each eligible animal should be tested by a designated laboratory using the sample types and frequencies set out below.

> 2 Individual cow milk samples taken at least 3 months apart avoiding the three months following a TB skin test and the first week of lactation


> 1 blood sample avoiding the three months following a TB skin test


> 1 faecal sample. 

3. Risk assessment and disease management advisory (VRAMA) visit and follow-up risk review visits

These are detailed on-farm reviews carried out by an approved veterinary practitioner in partnership with the farmer to identify aspects of management that could predispose to the introduction and spread of infection within the farm and to provide recommendations for the reduction of these risks. 




Associated Programmes BVD Programme Johne's Disease Programme

Developed and led by Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Agricultural and Rural Development AgriSearch Animal Health and Welfare NI The Association of Veterinary Surgeons Practicing in Northern Ireland College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise Dairy Breed Societies Livestock and Meat Commission National Beef Association Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association NI Livestock Auctioneers Association NIVA Ulster Farmers Union


Animal Health and Welfare NI, Box 10 1st Floor, Dungannon Business Cube, 5 Coalisland, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 6JT

Telephone:028 79639333 or 028 8778 9126