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National Johne’s Disease Project

Animal Health Australia (AHA) manages the National Johne’s Disease Project (NJDP), a cooperative initiative of the Australian livestock industries, governments and veterinarians.

About the project

The NJDP aims to assist the livestock industries reduce the spread and impact of Johne’s disease in Australia.

Managing Johne’s disease in livestock involves:

  • limiting its spread between areas and properties
  • reducing the impact in affected animal groups.

The NJDP coordinates activities in market assurance, disease management, research, diagnostic methods and communication.

Three main components of the NJDP are described below.

Market assurance programs

Market assurance programs (MAPs) for cattle, sheep, goats and alpacas are a key strategy in the control of Johne’s disease.

Voluntary MAPs enable producers to identify and promote their JD status to clients.

Industry can minimise the spread of JD by sourcing replacement animals from animal groups (herds or flocks) assessed under the current MAPs:

CattleMAP was closed down in November 2016.

Animals that are in the MAP are tested to determine their disease status and then managed to reduce the risk of their becoming infected. Over time, these herds or flocks progress through different levels of assurance.

If a herd/flock is found to be infected, then appropriate management procedures can be implemented to begin management or eradication of the infection.

Disease management for known infected herds and flocks varies from state to state—see the MAP section of this website or contact your state/territory department of primary industry for details about local Johne’s disease control programs.

Review of the National OJD Management Plan

WPA and SPA sought feedback from the sheep and wool industry on the future management of OJD in Australia in February and March 2018.

A Discussion Paper – Future Management of OJD was developed to seek feedback on the NOJDMP, and more specifically on the tools and elements that underpin the NOJDMP.

The feedback from this review was used to determine whether there was a need for a national framework for the management of OJD in Australia. The sheep industries decided that there was no need for an ongoing Management Plan and that OJD activities and tools would be managed under AHA’s Sheep Health Project.

Find out more here.

National Standard Definitions, Rules and Guidelines (SDR&Gs)

The standard definitions and rules for ovine Johne’s disease are the agreed national standards for the disease management program.

First endorsed in 1998, an interim version for OJD in sheep and goats was released in 2013; the final version will be available when PCR implementation guidelines have been developed.

Standard Diagnostic Procedures for Johne’s Disease

Maintenance of high quality techniques for diagnosis of Johne’s disease is a critical component of the NJDP.

The initial National JD Control Program Management (NJDCP) Committee developed the Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures for Johne’s disease (ANZSDPs) to describe tests that are approved for use in Australia. Previously the Sub-Committee on Animal Health Laboratory Standards (SCAHLS) maintained the ANZSDPs.

The ANZSDP for Johne’s disease identifies and describes laboratory methods that assist in detecting and diagnosing Johne’s disease in susceptible domestic ruminant species.The latest version is on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Related links


Page reviewed: 16/07/2019