Management of Johne’s disease in cattle in Victoria from 1 July 2016
From 1 July 2016, Johne's disease in cattle will be industry managed and market-driven in Victoria. The new approach recognises the key role producers have in the management of endemic livestock diseases on their property.
Management of Johne's disease will be on a risk-based approach at the farm level, the same as for many other endemic livestock diseases. With a strong emphasis on good biosecurity practices, this approach will put the management of Johne's disease in the hands of the cattle owner.
This change follows a national review in 2015 of bovine Johne's disease management that industry and governments contributed to through an extensive consultative process. The review identified there was support for Johne's disease in cattle to be dealt with differently and concluded that it should be addressed under a common biosecurity approach for endemic diseases, with a focus on management at the farm-level. The review has informed the development of a framework for a revised approach to the national management of Johne's disease in cattle.
Managing risk of Johne's disease at the farm
The new approach recognises the importance of sound biosecurity practices being implemented on farm, including the seeking of properly completed animal health statements when purchasing stock. Good biosecurity is important not only for Johne's disease, but for all animal diseases. Biosecurity practices should be undertaken on a market driven approach, i.e. dependent on the requirement of markets that the producer is targeting.
From 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2019, industry subsidisation of Johne's disease vaccine will be available for Victorian cattle herds infected with Johne's disease. This will replace the industry funded voluntary Test and Control Program (TCP) that concluded on 30 June 2016.
Industry subsidisation of participation in the Johne's Disease Calf Accreditation Program (JDCAP) will also continue to 31 December 2019 in Victoria. This is open to any dairy herd located in Victoria.
Additional tools for or assessing and managing the risk of Johne's disease have been developed by industry or are currently under development.
Cattle producers are encouraged to work with their private veterinarian to manage Johne's disease on their property.
Purchasing and selling stock
With the introduction of infected livestock being the most likely way of introducing Johne's disease onto a property, cattle owners are strongly encouraged to seek assurances about the health of any livestock being introduced to their property. The easiest way that this can be done is by seeking a properly completed animal health statement from vendors when purchasing stock.
National animal health statements for livestock are available from the Farm biosecurity website.
From 1 July 2016, there will be no entry requirements specifically relating to Johne's disease for cattle entering Victoria from other states or territories. Cattle must be identified with a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) (Cattle) device and be accompanied by a completed National Vendor Declaration. Further information on the introduction of livestock into Victoria is available on this website.
Although national zones for Johne's disease in cattle will no longer exist after 1 July 2016, states/territories may still impose their own entry requirements. Entry requirements for other states/territories should be obtained from the relevant authority in the destination state/territory.
Obligations if Johne's disease is suspected or diagnosed
Consistent with the agreed national approach, Johne's disease remains a notifiable disease in Victoria.
Although a suspicion or diagnosis of Johne's disease in cattle will need to be notified to Agriculture Victoria, no further regulation will be applied as a result. For example, there will be no restriction on the movement of livestock from the property.
If you suspect your cattle may be infected with Johne's disease, contact your local Agriculture Victoria office or telephone Agriculture Victoria on 136 186. Contact your private veterinarian to have it investigated.
Agriculture Victoria will not apply a Johne's disease herd status to cattle herds in Victoria. Herd statuses previously applied (excluding CattleMAP status) will no longer be applicable.
Cattle producers are encouraged to work with their private veterinarian to manage Johne's disease if the disease is confirmed on their property.
For advice on risk management of Johne's disease, cattle owners should contact their private veterinary practitioner.
Dairy Australia has information on Johne's disease specific for dairy herds.
More information on Johne's disease, including vaccination and JDCAP subsidies for Victorian producers.
Information on biosecurity planning, including animal health statements.
Information on the national management of Johne's disease is available from Animal Health Australia.