Disease testing advance ready

Frank Griffin.
Frank Griffin.
CRV Ambreed is collaborating with Otago-based Disease Research Ltd to enable dairy farmers to access further information about Bovine Viral Diarrhoea and Johne’s  disease from their herd testing.

From this month, farmers would get their normal herd test information on BVD and Johne’s disease but were now able to directly take that a step further with DRL. Until now, the herd testing provided farmers with an initial positive or negative result for the diseases through an "alert" service, which told the farmer there might be  an issue  needing further investigation. The extended service offered by DRL provided farmers with the option of follow-up testing of individual cows, ensuring properly informed management and control, CRV Ambreed managing director Angus Haslett said.

For more than 30 years,  Emeritus Prof Frank Griffin, of the University of Otago, led a university-based research team devoted to solving animal health problems in the deer industry, including developing diagnostic tests for the detection of two major bacterial diseases — bovine tuberculosis and Johne’s disease — and a vaccine for the prevention of yersiniosis.

With his retirement last year, a new home had to be found for his research team and that was at AgResearch’s Invermay research centre. DRL was under the control of Otago Innovation Ltd, a University of Otago company.

At that time, he said DRL would continue in the Johne’s disease area and wanted to extend the scope of its research.

One of its aims was to develop much stronger relationships with the dairy sector and it believed it could make a contribution in basic diagnostics, in both Johne’s disease and BVD.

DRL was the southern hemisphere’s only USDA-accredited laboratory.

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