New Approach to JD (Johnes Disease) in Cattle

November 29, 2016

What is Johnes Disease?

JD is an incurable bacterial infection that may cause serious wasting and chronic diarrhoea in cattle. It also affects sheep, goats, camelids and deer in Australia.

JD in cattle is caused by bacterium, Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, which lives mainly in animal intestines, but can survive in the outside environment for several months. Affected animals will lose weight and eventually starve to death.

Cattle infected with JD secrete the bacteria in their manure. The bacteria contaminate pasture and watercourses, spreading infection to other cattle sharing the same paddocks or yards.

Transition from JD CattleMAPinfographic_higherres_web-300x200

As of 1 November 2016, the Australian Johne’s Disease Market Assurance Program for Cattle (CattleMAP) will transition to alternative industry assurance systems. This outcome follows a review of CattleMAP, undertaken by Herd Health P/L. The new arrangements for CattleMAP participants is the final step in the wider BJD Review process.

The JD in Cattle Framework is now in the implementation phase. A previous JD Status of MN1, 2, 3 or Beef Only will no longer be recognised & will be replaced by a JD Beef Assurance Score.

The Johnes Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) is a risk profiling tool developed for use in the new approach to JD in beef cattle. It is meant to be used as a guide and producers should ask further questions about JD in the herd and on the property, rather than rely on the score alone.

Johnes Beef Assurance Score – Explanation Sheet

New Approach to JD in Cattle – Fact Sheet

For further information contact your local cattle vet, your state Department of Agricuture
or the Animal Health Australia website