New CHeCS-approved cattle health scheme promises earlier results

The new cattle health scheme offers earlier detection of Johne’s disease
The new cattle health scheme offers earlier detection of Johne’s disease

A new scheme offering earlier detection of Johne’s disease and fast turnaround times for lab results has been launched by Axiom Veterinary Laboratories.

The lab, which has had its facilities and scheme quality approved by CHeCS (Cattle Health Certification Standards), provides livestock diagnostic testing services to over 300 vet practices.

With the launch of this new cattle health scheme, vets will now be able to send all samples from their clients’ cattle herds to the same lab.

Catriona Ritchie, a veterinary advisor for Axiom, says herd owners and vets will also benefit from fast turnaround times, a courier service, advice from a cattle health schemes vet and competitively-priced tests.

“The full set of programmes within CHeCS will be available through the Axiom Cattle Health Scheme,” she explains.

“This means farmers can opt to test for any combination of BVD, Johne’s disease, IBR, Leptospirosis and Neospora.

“Axiom is also running the CHeCS TB programme that helps farmers access government derogations on the statutory measures in England and Wales.”

Both the Welsh government and Defra have announced changes to their bovine TB control plan, which recognises the role biosecurity – and specifically the CHeCS protocol – can offer in reducing the risk of a TB breakdown.

Ms Ritchie adds that dairy herd managers in particular are likely to benefit and achieve better control of Johne’s disease by using Axiom’s blood test, which has been shown to be more sensitive than milk testing.

Blood testing is recommended around the time of drying off so that high risk cows can be identified before calving.

Tim Brigstocke from CHeCS says: “We are delighted that Axiom has achieved CHeCS status for its laboratories and disease control protocols, and look forward to it being able to now provide accredited services to hundreds of farms across England and Wales

“The control of infectious disease is critical to the future success of UK cattle farming, and the CHeCS protocols Axiom has adopted provide the best-practice approach for reducing the impact of a range of diseases, including TB.”