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Changes to management of Johne’s Disease in cattle

The approach to management of Johne’s Disease (JD) in cattle commenced nationally from 1 July 2016, moving from a management structure regulated by state governments to an on-farm risk based approach.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Acting Chief Veterinary Officer, Samantha Allan, said the changes let farmers take responsibility for managing JD in line with other disease and biosecurity risks they manage on-farm.

“Johnes Disease remains a notifiable disease however regulatory actions are no longer required with the new on-farm approach,” Dr Allan said.

“Infected farms will not be quarantined and any existing quarantines have now been revoked. There will no restrictions on the movement of cattle within NSW or interstate on account of their JD status and no tracing of livestock to and from infected properties.

“Farmers can now consider what measures should be implemented to guard against and manage the biosecurity risk to their business.  Options include requesting livestock health declarations when buying stock.”

JD has been managed under the National Bovine Johne’s Disease Strategic Plan since 2003. The new approach comes into effect after a scheduled review of the plan was undertaken in 2015, which included consultation with industry, Government and the community on how to best manage JD.

In the lead up to the introduction of the Biosecurity Act in 2017, NSW DPI will have further discussions with NSW Farmers and industry organisations on how best to proceed with the management of cattle health statements in NSW.

To bring goats into line with cattle and sheep, similar changes will be made to the management of JD in goats.

Johne’s Disease is an endemic wasting disease caused by bacteria that affects the intestines of cattle.

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