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Changes to management of Johne’s disease

Cow with BJDFollowing a review of the National Bovine Johne’s Disease Strategic Plan there have been recent changes in how Johne’s disease will be managed nationally. After extensive consultation with industry, the community and relevant government agencies there will be a move to a less regulated program with a focus on a risk based approach at farm level.

Ian Poe, District Veterinarian with North Coast Local Land Services said, “The new approach, which has been endorsed by the cattle industry and state governments, sees a removal of zoning on account of Johne’s disease and known infected properties will no longer be quarantined.”

Johne’s disease will still remain notifiable, which means any person who knows or suspects that Johne’s may be present has a legal obligation to notify an inspector under the Stock Diseases Act.

Clinical signs of Johne’s disease are seen in adult animals and include watery diarrhoea and weight loss. Affected animals do not respond to treatment.

“We recommend that purchasers of cattle request a cattle health statement to allow them to determine the suitability of the stock for their needs, and assess the risk that the stock may pose in respect to Johne’s disease," Ian said.

“Johne’s disease will be treated as one of many diseases that producers need to manage as part of their business.”

In the coming months Animal Health Australia will be developing additional tools and resources to allow producers to manage the risk of Johne’s disease.

Further information can be found on the Animal Health Australia website or contact the North Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarian team.

Media contact:

Ian Poe, District Veterinarian, 0429 987 255

Photo caption:

Animals affected by Johne’s disease do not respond to treatment.