Laurent Delooz - Regional Association for Animal Health and Identification (ARSIA), Belgium

Laurent Delooz

Regional Association for Animal Health and Identification (ARSIA), Belgium.

What is Belgium’s ruminant abortion program?

After 25-year eradication program, Belgium was declared free of brucellosis in 2003. Because we were able to maintain that official status, in 2009 the monitoring program was relaxed so animals did not need to be tested pre-movement and pre-export. Currently, to maintain our brucellosis-free status, it is mandatory to report miscarriages.

How does the program work?

When an abortion occurs, the farmer contacts their veterinarian. The veterinarian goes to the farm to complete a full farm survey and then contacts ARSIA who retrieves the material. To motivate participation, veterinarians and farmers are compensated for notifying the Association for Animal Health and Identification (ARSIA) whenever an abortion occurs.

ARSIA conducts the pathology using diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the abortion for many types of samples, including foetus, placenta, maternal serum and bulk milk, while some are sent to the National Reference Laboratory in Brussels. The tests are regularly evaluated to reflect new knowledge, methods and emerging pathogens.

A PCR multi-pathogen kit, such as the LSI VetMAX Screening Pack Real-time PCR kit from Thermo Fisher Scientific screens for eight different pathogens, is very useful and enables us to search for a wide range of abortive pathogens.

How does this help producers?

After the diagnosis is determined, producers receive the results as well as advice on how to reduce abortions on their farms.

This information was first published in International Dairy Topics, Volume 16 Number 1

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