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AHA Review of Bovine Johne’s Disease

Throughout 2015 and early 2016 Animal Health Australia (AHA) has been conducting a review
of Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) management in Australia. The review has progressed with consultative forums, meetings of a review panel, discussion
papers and a draft framework document.

Information on the AHA Review of BJD can be found via http://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/news/latest-information-about-the-national-bjd-strategic-plan-review/

Dairy farmers were represented on the Review Panel by ADF and Dairy Australia and State Dairy Farmer Organisations have had input through the consultations.
Farmer representatives have been present at both the forums and at the consultation meetings held.

AHA released the final framework document in February 2016 – BJD – Where to from here? A Fresh Approach to the Management of Johne’s Disease in Cattle: Management Plan for Cattle Production Conditions.

Major changes in the management of BJD outlined in the final framework document include:

The removal of zoning;

  • Reliance on producers to protect themselves from disease (a biosecurity approach);
  • A market driven approach where producers undertake practices dependant on market requirements;
  • An evaluation of the CattleMAP; and
  • Development of tools and education material.

The dairy industry has provided collective input and feedback throughout the process. The final framework document is a very high-level document and dairy
industry representatives have indicated that further work is necessary to provide detail on how any revised scheme would be implemented.

A Communications Plan and an Implementation Plan for the new BJD approach are being worked on and industry representatives are involved in this work. As
a result of the above, in consultation with State Dairy Farming Organisations, recommended revisions to the Dairy Score developed by ADF and DA have
been endorsed.

The National Dairy Industry BJD Assurance Score will continue to be an important tool for dairy farmers but some refinements may be needed to facilitate
an alternative to Cattle MAP for dairy farmers.

The draft revised Dairy Score is based on the current criteria that supports risk-based trading and provides an extension tool to help farmers understand
how they can achieve higher levels of assurance. The draft revised Dairy Score focuses on biosecurity measures, particularly hygienic calf rearing,
with incorporation of herd tests at the higher levels to monitor and verify the integrity of the Score.

Work is also happening on making the Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation Plan (JDCAP) available across Australia. The JDCAP is currently only implemented
in Victoria and recently New South Wales.

The JDCAP is a voluntary comprehensive audited program that has been implemented on some dairy farms in Victoria and has been a compulsory part of participation
in the Victorian Test and Control Program since 2003.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the ADF Office via (03) 8621 4200.

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