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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:

Animal groups participating in the MAP are tested to determine their disease status and managed to reduce the risk of their becoming infected. Over time, these groups progress through different levels of assurance.

If an animal group is found to be infected, then appropriate management procedures can be implemented to begin management or eradication of the infection.

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

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: October 19, 2017