SheepMAP Rules

There has been a lot of confusion recently regarding the ‘rules’ for maintaining status for flocks in the SheepMAP.   The attached extract from the Sheep MAP manual outlines what is required to maintain your flock’s status through testing or vaccination.

REMAINING IN SHEEPMAP - Annual Veterinary Review

In order to remain in the SheepMAP you must have an Annual Veterinary Review. This is carried out by the Approved Veterinarian. This review will ensure that you have met the management requirements of the program. It will include examination of records, individual identification of animals at testing and records of movement of animals onto and off the property.

You must keep records of the findings of the Annual Veterinary Review. You can use the form provided in the Resources and Forms section of this manual or, or another format providing it records all the necessary information.

If there has not been a Sample or Maintenance Test undertaken in the year since the last review, the Annual Veterinary Review must also include post-mortem examination of up to three thin sheep, with collection of appropriate specimens for laboratory examination. Where three appropriate thin sheep are not present, the Approved Veterinarian must certify that the flock has been examined and that none, one or two thin sheep have been identified and postmortemed and appropriate specimens collected for laboratory examination.

Progressing flock status

In order for your flock to progress its status in the SheepMAP (e.g. from MN1 to MN2) it must successfully complete its Annual Veterinary Reviews and a Sample Test must be undertaken 22-26 months after the previous negative Sample or Maintenance Test on which the flock’s status was allocated. A negative Sample Test result will allow the flock to progress to the next level eg from MN1 to MN2 or from MN2 to MN3.

If you have implemented a vaccination program as detailed in Element 7 (MNn-V flocks) and the flock contains vaccinated sheep two years of age or older the Sample Test must be carried out using the Pooled Faecal Culture Test. Flocks in which all vaccinated sheep are less than two years of age may use either Pooled Faecal Culture or Serology for Sample Tests.

Maintaining flock status without vaccination

You may choose to maintain your flock status at its current level. To maintain MN1 or MN2 a Maintenance Test must be undertaken 22-26 months after the previous negative Sample or Maintenance Test on which the flock’s status was allocated. To maintain MN3 or higher status, a Maintenance Test must be undertaken 34-38 months after the previous negative Sample or Maintenance Test. In addition, each Annual Veterinary Review must be successfully completed.

A flock can only maintain its status once using a Maintenance Test (i.e. for a maximum of two years prior to reaching MN3). If you wish to retain MN1 or MN2 status having already undertaken one Maintenance Test, you need to have satisfactory Annual Veterinary Reviews and complete a negative Sample Test every two years. To maintain MN3 flock status a Maintenance Test must be undertaken every three years.

Maintaining flock status with vaccination

You can maintain the status of your SheepMAP flock by vaccinating all sheep in the flock with the killed Johne’s disease vaccine, Gudair™. This initial whole flock vaccination must be followed by Annual Veterinary Reviews and annual vaccination of lambs at less than 16 weeks of age, plus all introduced sheep. The SheepMAP status of vaccinated flocks will have a V added to it (e.g. MN1-V, MN2-V) followed by the year in which the MN level was originally attained (e.g. MN1-V 2003). Vaccination in this manner removes the requirement for Maintenance Testing to maintain flock status.

Events affecting status

If you become aware of any matter that may affect the status of your SheepMAP flock, such as the entry of strays from infected neighbours or movement of sheep from or to a flock that subsequently tests positive for Johne’s disease, you must immediately advise the Approved Veterinarian. The veterinarian must in turn advise the CVO who will initiate an appropriate investigation into the potential effect on the flock’s status.

Flock Status Progression and Maintenance

Note: Flocks may choose to maintain status through whole flock vaccination as shown below forMN1/MN1V

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