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No more culling 2011
19 Feb 2010 11:17 AM
From a veterinary point of view culling will not be necessary to control Q-fever in 2011.
”The additional measures, taken this year on top of the efficient measures already in place, were exceptional”, says Fred van Zijderveld, Centraal Veterinair Instituut (CVI).
The politicians will have to decide presumably after being advised by the experts. “The lambing season will be over around 15 May, because of the breeding ban since December. All animals will be vaccinated this year and we know where all the contaminated farms are. Therefore, the starting point for 2011 will be quite different from the one this year”, van Zijderveld says.
According to Van Zijderveld the farms, that will as yet be declared contaminated with Q-fever, were already tested Q-fever positive in previous monitoring. “All farms have a Q-fever history. In the previous rounds not all three tests were positive, so farms were not declared contaminated. In the lambing season there is increased shedding of the C.burnettii bacterium; therefore the test results are all positive now”, he explains.
Van Zijderveld says that the decision level, as determined by the CVI, works to the advantage of the goat farms. “Coxiella is also found in bulk milk samples below the decision level. Yet these farms are not declared contaminated.”
Q-fever detection in bulk milk is based on a DNA-particle of the bacterium.
LNV: culling will probably last till 15 May
19 Feb 2010 10:49 AM
The Q-fever spreading among the dairy goat and sheep farms is as yet not surprising to LNV.
According to the Ministry CVO Christianne Bruschke the expected scenario was one third of the farms to be contaminated. “We have not reached that number yet, but the lambing season is not over either.”
That will be the case on 15 May. Bruschke expects the VWA (Food Safety Authority) to be done with culling by that time. Before 1 June the entire population has to be vaccinated. At farms with a public function (petting farms) all goats and sheep will be vaccinated as well. What is left over of the 1.5 million now available doses of vaccines, will be used for the voluntary vaccination of rare breeds f.i. The vaccine is not effective at a contaminated farm, according to Bruschke.
The Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) and the Animal Health Service (GD) have been performing tests on the collected bulk milk samples from the farms since 1 October. Every two weeks one checks whether the Q-fever bacterium is present at a farm. A positive outcome is indesputable, says Fred van Zijderveld (CVI). A goat keeper from Belfeld (Limburg) managed to postpone the planned culling at his farm because not all the test results showed the presence of Q-fever. After new tests were done the culling went on after all. The decision to cull at a farm is taken after two bulk milk testing rounds are performed, at which the samp-les are tested three times.
According to Bruschke the evident infections are always found. “If not right away, then the next test after two weeks will show.” The bacterium shows intermittently, but it is certain that towards the births of the lambs many bacteria are shedded.
The CVI also wants to find out about Q-fever with deer and bovines. Research with cats, dogs and horses is done as well. Van Zijderveld: ”Not to cull them, but to find out what is going on there. Maybe goats and sheep carry a different strain that is more virulent.” It will take some years before this will all be clear. One knows that bovines can carry Q-fever. But this is another type and the experts do not as yet see a link with public health.
Vaccination makes hopeful
18 Feb 2010 6:22 PM
Not only the animals at dairy sheep and goat farms must be vaccinated before 1 June against Q-fever, the same will apply to the animals at meat farms.
This deadline is considerably earlier than the originally planned date of 1 January 2011.
The minister’s announcement is more than welcome. The sooner vaccination can start the better. Verburg says she has managed to obtain sufficient vaccine doses for the mandatory campaign.
The vaccination campaign will be a challenge to the vets. The campaign will start on 1 April and has to be done in 2 months. As the lambing season will continue till half of May, some farms can only be served afterwards. Only not-pregnant animals will be vaccinated. Things are compiclated as well by the obligatory double vaccination with an interval of 3 weeks, a logistic challenge.
Nevertheless it is good news. It makes the future for despairing goat farms somewhat hopeful. The sector will be able to face the future with an entirely vaccinated stock and the breeding ban is lifted. Hope is what the goat industry is desperately in need of and entitled to.
author: Agrarisch Dagblad