§ Mr. Hurd
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the estimated annual cost of Johne's disease in deaths and loss of production in cattle herds; whether research has given any promising results; and if he will state his Department's policy in testing and vaccinating cattle to check losses from this disease.
§ Mr. Godber
Johne's disease is not notifiable under the Diseases of Animals Act, and there is no information readily available on which to assess the loss of production by reason of death or 43W unthriftiness. A small-scale inquiry carried out a few years ago indicated that about 1 per cent. of the cows in the dairy herds surveyed showed clinical symptoms. Research and investigation are going on into certain aspects of the problem, including the practicability of successful vaccination and use of the complement fixation test to identify infected animals, but no definite conclusions have yet been reached It is clear, however, that sound hygiene and good management play an important part in keeping herds free from the disease.