Healthy herds for a healthier bottom line

Healthy herds for a healthier bottom line

A University of Prince Edward Island initiative to wipe out a widespread disease in dairy cattle will save the industry millions of dollars in Atlantic Canada
July 4, 2012

A research and testing program on an insidious disease affecting dairy cattle is improving the health of cows in Atlantic Canada and will save the region’s dairy industry ― which includes 700 farms ―millions of dollars each year. The initiative, a partnership between the four Atlantic dairy boards and Maritime Quality Milk, a research centre at UPEI’s Atlantic Veterinary College, is designed to better understand and eliminate Johne’s disease, which affects the amount of milk cows produce and, as a result, the bottom line of farming operations. It is estimated that 25 percent of dairy herds in Canada are currently infected.

Reducing the impact of Johne’s disease is one of the top two animal health priorities of the Canadian dairy industry, which generates $30 billion in economic activity and 160,000 jobs across the country. If steps are not taken now to limit the spread of Johne’s, many believe that Canada’s dairy cattle could be threatened with trade barriers ― a move that would have potentially disastrous economic repercussions.