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JD in cattle tools

Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates industry-funded projects to manage Johne’s disease (JD) in cattle, sheep, goats and alpacas. Our projects work to protect Australia’s favourable JD status and reduce the impacts of the disease and its control measures on the livestock industries.

Tools for producers to manage and prevent JD in their cattle

A number of tools are available for cattle producers to help them prevent JD entering or manage it in their cattle.

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. These self-assessment scores allow producers to demonstrate what they may be doing for JD on their property. They also allow producers who may be considering buying cattle to do an initial check on JD assurance, however it is important that they ask more questions as there are many other factors to consider.

The JD Biosecurity Checklist has been developed to help producers determine other questions they may want to ask about the JD history of the cattle and their property of origin.

The Biosecurity Checklist is also recommended for producers developing a property biosecurity plan for J-BAS, to complement general biosecurity plans like the National Farm Biosecurity Reference Manual – Grazing Livestock Production. The Checklist has JD-specific information in three of the relevant principles of the Biosecurity Reference Manual.

Groups of producers may also wish to work together to enhance their biosecurity. Like-minded producers who, for example, have the same breed of cattle or who are within a particular region or supply network can use Cooperative Biosecurity Plan Guidelines that have been developed to provide a list of elements that these groups should consider when forming.

All producers should ask for health information about cattle before buying them and the best way to obtain this is via the National Cattle Health Declaration. It has valuable information about JD and pestivirus, and the treatments and vaccinations that the cattle have received.

For herds with Johne’s disease, vaccination of cattle with Silirum® should be considered. This inactivated (killed) vaccine is a tool to complement on farm disease management practices relating to JD. Producers wanting to use the vaccine in their cattle should check with their relevant Department of Primary Industries (or equivalent) about any state/territory rules for using it, and also follow the label requirements for permanent identification of vaccinates.

For help with JD in beef cattle see the assistance page for information on the JD Counsellor.

Tools for veterinarians and animal health officers helping producers with JD in cattle

A useful reference document has been developed by the cattle industries, with help from the state/territory departments of primary industries. The JD in cattle Definitions and Guidelines is a resource for information on JD tests and testing, as well as other JD issues.

Related links


Page reviewed: April 28, 2017