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Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation Program

Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates the national Johne’s disease (JD) in cattle Framework for the Australian dairy and beef industries, governments and veterinarians.

Aims of the program

The Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation Program (JDCAP) is an independently audited annual program available to Victorian dairy operators that aims to reduce the risk of calves being infected with JD by:

  • minimising their contact with manure and dairy effluent from adult cattle
  • reducing exposure to potentially contaminated milk.

JDCAP does not guarantee the production of JD-free calves, but calves raised under this accredited calf-rearing system have a lower risk of having JD than non-accredited calves.

Benefits of JDCAP

  • Sellers of dairy cattle can provide prospective buyers with some assurance about the JD status of calves and how they were reared.
  • Calf buyers can purchase JDCAP calves by preference.
  • Calves reared under JDCAP score 3 points in the National Dairy BJD Assurance Score system.
  • Replacement calves have a lower risk of becoming infected if a herd has infected cattle that have not yet been detected
  • Calves are protected should an infected animal be inadvertently introduced into an uninfected herd.
  • Program minimises the risk of spreading JD from an infected herd to replacements, which increases trading options.
  • JDCAP participation is a pre-requisite for entry into the voluntary Victorian BJD Test and Control Program – TCP3.

Eligible herds

Any Victorian dairy herd is eligible to enter JDCAP, irrespective of the herd’s JD status.

Accreditation requirements

No blood testing of a herd is required.

Participating owners must agree to observe the following conditions:

  • The property must be inspected and approved by a DEPI-accredited veterinarian before the program can begin.
  • All replacement calves must be separated from their mothers within 12 hours of birth.
  • Cows must calve in an area that is free of dairy effluent or large amounts of manure.
  • The calf-rearing area must be free of any dairy effluent or cow manure.
  • Only clean water (preferably tank, town or bore water) must be supplied to calves for drinking or preparing calf milk replacer.
  • Only milk from low-risk cattle or calf milk replacer must be fed to calves.
  • Weaned calves can only graze paddocks that have not been grazed by adult cattle during the previous 12 months.
  • The grazing area for weaned calves must be free of any drainage or effluent.

How to get involved

After inspection and approval by the DEPI-accredited veterinarian, the dairy herd owner signs a ‘Herd Owner Agreement form’ that is endorsed by the veterinarian.

Then the veterinarian provides the owner with a JDCAP registered ‘Certificate of Compliance’ that is valid for 12 months.

The calf management program is reviewed and audited annually by the veterinarian.

Victorian dairy farmers can ask their local veterinary practitioner or a Victorian DEPI Animal Health staff member about how to join the Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation (JDCAP).

Dairy operators in New South Wales (NSW) can ask their NSW DPI Dairy Livestock Officer, local district veterinarian or private MAP-approved veterinarian about how to manage calves to reduce the risk of spreading JD.

Related links


Page reviewed: 03/07/2016