Management of Johne’s disease in cattle in Victoria since July 2016
Since 1 July 2016, Johne's disease in cattle has been industry managed and market-driven in Victoria. This approach recognises the key role producers have in the management of endemic livestock diseases on their property.
Management of Johne's disease is on a voluntary, 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 puts the management of Johne's disease in the hands of the cattle owner.
This approach 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.
Managing risk of Johne's disease at the farm
The voluntary approach recognises the importance of sound biosecurity practices being implemented on farm, including the seeking of a properly completed National Cattle Health Declaration 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.
Voluntary tools for or assessing and managing the risk of Johne's disease have been developed by industry. The Johne's Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) has been developed as a risk profiling tool for beef producers and the National Dairy BJD Assurance Score (Dairy Score) continues to be available for dairy producers. Further information about these tools can be found on the Animal Health Australia webpage JD in cattle tools.
Cattle producers are encouraged to work with their private veterinarian to manage Johne's disease on their property.
A commercial vaccine (Silirum®) is available to assist in the control of Johne’s disease.
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 National Cattle Health Declaration from vendors when purchasing stock.
There are 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.
States/territories may impose their own entry requirements relating to Johne's disease and other diseases. 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 (including CattleMAP status) are no longer 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.
Further information about managing Johne's disease in livestock can be found on the Animal Health Australia website.
Dairy Australia has information on Johne's disease specific for dairy herds.
Learn more about Johne's disease.
Information on biosecurity planning, including animal health statements.