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Accreditation scheme

 Added by  becky
 21 Sep 2011, 7:02 PM

In order to be able to introduce vaccination for cattle we would need to have a supporting accreditation scheme wouldn't we?
We asked what was happening in New Zealand re accreditation as we were told they have set up something. Email from Dr GE 25/9/11:
In New Zealand all herds have a C status and an I status: C for clear and I for infected, followed by the number of years they have been clear - e.g. C5 would mean that the herd has been clear for 5 years. In general herds can only go up to C10, but for some farms e.g. heiffer rearers, farms where stock is sold straight to slaughter, the C status will never be more than C2.
As with most things in New Zealand, this was a farmer-led initiative and only began once the Animal Health Board was set up. There are much fewer restrictions on movements in NZ, and no database like CTS that we have (although that is in the process of being set up). However, if a farmer decides to buy stock from a farm with a lower C status than their own, then their C status would be adjusted to the lower value. For example, if a C8 herd buys from a C1, then they would lose the C8 and become C1.
There isnt much academic research on how important C status is in purchasing decision, and because of the lack of a movements database it would be difficult to analyse it in a similar way to the kinds of analyses that have been done with CTS. However, the farmers I have spoken really value a high C status, and want to keep it as high as possible. Its likely that many of the movements are going to be between similar C status farms.
C status is publicly available in NZ and as a farmer-led initiative it has great buy-in. Here, we dont have anything similar, other than Parish Testing Intervals which suffer from the ecological fallacy (everyone in the area is not the same but represented as such) or farmers own perceptions of risk areas/herds. The example you have in your email is from Dick Sibley's myhealthyherd, and the Welsh Government have done a lot of work trying to classify herds' biosecurity risks in other ways. But as these are limited, not publically available and not compulsory their effect will be limited in relation to stock purchasing decisions. There is though great interest, certainly in Wales about C status, and the AHB emphasised it in their presentations at the Royal Welsh Show last year. There's concern about data protection issues, but this is a misnomer: the FSA and others publish inspection ratings - on food safety for example - which is all that a TB test is.
It would be much better though if the farming industry came up with and pushed for this kind of scheme themselves - its disingenuous of the NFU to praise some elements of the NZ approach without recognising the broader shift in responsibility and governance it entails.
Statutory TB control measures met. A low risk of ‘residual’ infection in the herd and an unknown risk of introduction of TB since the last herd test.
Herd is not under TB2 restrictions
No bought / brought in stock since last clear herd test, unless from 3-4-year testing herds or pre-movement tested (N.B. This is a statutory requirement)
‘Clean’ herds in a 1 to 4-year testing parish
Statutory biosecurity only.
Herd is clear of bovine TB, with low risk of ‘residual’ infection or of the disease having entered the herd since last testing.
As for Bronze
Last herd test clear, including no pending IRs
No nose-to-nose contact with neighbouring cattle
Herd is clear of bovine TB with minimal risk of ‘residual’ infection and minimal risk of the disease having entered the herd since last testing.
As for Silver
No herd breakdowns in the past 2 (clearance test > 2 yrs ago) years
Whole holding and all linked premises in a 2-, 3- or 4-year testing parish
No bought / brought in stock since last clear herd test, unless post-movement quarantined in an LVI approved isolation facility for 60 days and tested (privately or under PRMT regime)
Farm boundaries are secure and prevent cattle straying onto or off the property
Double fencing to neighbouring cattle
Wildlife-proof feed storage and no ground feeding or ground fed mineral supplementation
No bulls hired in the last 4 years
No tracing requests in the last 4 years
Herds with similar status to Platinum, but in 2-year testing ‘buffer zones’ are eligible for Gold, to reflect the higher risk in the area.
Herd is clear of bovine TB infection with no risk of ‘residual’ infection and minimal risk of the disease having entered the herd since last testing.
As for Gold
No herd breakdowns (confirmed or otherwise) in past 4 (clearance test > 4 yrs ago) years
Whole holding and all linked premises in a 3- or 4-year testing parish
Animals in post-movement quarantine as described for gold must only be privately tested; no animals eligible for PRMT purchased.
No tracing requests in the last 5 years
Email from P 19/9/11
This is interesting - bovine TB is already included in an accreditation scheme - 'LASER (Livestock Assurance South East Region), a cattle health assurance scheme based in the South East of England' www.laserlivestock.org.uk .
They give details of their standards for bovine TB as copied in below - this is a good example of a scheme that could be rolled out over the country if farmers were given responsibility for control of bTB.
It's surprising to see on their 'About us' page, they say they give 'farmers "credit" for vaccination and not just for monitoring and eradication schemes' which implies that vaccination isn't usually considered an essential part of control for the other serious diseases covered by other accreditation schemes. If that's the case then no reason to wait for a vaccine for bTB either.

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