FarmLab HealthSure is a cattle health certification scheme for IBR and Johnes Disease in cattle herds. IBR or Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis and Johnes Disease are two infectious diseases which can affect cattle herds


Why Should I enroll my herd in the FarmLab HealthSure scheme?

Herds which become members of the FarmLab HealthSure scheme, can offer reassurance to third parties, be that the agri-industry or other farmers who may wish to purchase new stock, that the herd operates to a high health status for IBR and Johnes Disease. There is an increasing awareness of the importance of controlling these two diseases on farms. Herds can be certified for Johnes Disease or IBR, or both.

What is Johnes Disease?

Johnes Disease is a disease which affects cattle and can cause wasting and diarrhea. The infectious agent or cause of the disease is Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis. Usually cattle become infected at a young age through contact with milk from infected mothers or faeces from infected cattle. Some calves may be infected before birth. Once calves are infected the disease goes undetected for a number of years. When the disease becomes established in the animal it may be detected by testing blood or faeces from the infected animal. There is no cure for Johnes disease in cattle which can only be controlled by instituting a herd level management plan on farm, together with attesting programme for all adult animals on the farm and good biosecurity.

More information on Johnes Disease may be found on the Animal Health Ireland website.

What is IBR?

IBR is a viral disease which can infect cattle of any age. It is mainly spread through contact with infected animals. Once infected an animal remains a source of infection to other animals for life and can shed the virus at any stage. IBR can cause have range of negative health implications in herds, including immunosuppression, infertility, reduced milk yield and respiratory disease. Animals which have been infected with the IBR virus may be diagnosed by the detection of antibodies to the disease in the animals blood. Control of IBR revolves around prevention of contact with the disease and use of vaccination, more information is available on the Animal Health Ireland website.

How do I get my herd tested under the FarmLab HealthSure scheme?

First of all you can contact us for registration forms for the scheme.

You will also need to inform your vet that you wish to have your herd certified for IBR and/or Johnes Disease under the scheme. Your vet will need to draw up a management plan for you, and arrange to have testing carried out on your herd.


For more information on the scheme contact us.

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