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Previous National BJD Strategic Plan

Animal Health Australia (AHA) managed Australia’s National BJD Strategic Plan on behalf of the beef and dairy industries, governments and veterinarians.

Purpose and objectives

The National BJD Strategic Plan 2012–2016 aimed to assist the beef and dairy industries reduce the spread and impact of bovine Johne’s disease (JD) in Australia.

The plans objectives were to help:

  • minimise the contamination of farms and farm products
    • reduce the contamination of animal products
    • reduce the exposure of humans to the bacteria
    • reduce contamination of the farm environment
  • protect non-infected herds while minimising disruption to trade
    • reduce the spread of JD between regions and production sectors
  • reduce the social, economic and trade impact of JD at herd, regional and national levels
    • provide assistance to affected producers
    • reduce the prevalence of JD in the dairy and beef sectors
    • remove the stigma associated with JD infection and its associate emotional stress.

The National BJD Strategic Plan referenced nationally accepted Standard Definitions, Rules and Guidelines for the management and control of JD in Australian cattle, goats, deer and camelids herds.


The dairy and beef industries have adopted a sectoral approach to the control and management of the disease.

Dairy sector

Beef sector

  • Categorised sale animals as Beef Only to prevent the risks of co-mingling with dairy cattle or grazing on land previously grazed by dairy cattle, which are large risk factors for JD infection in a beef herd.
  • Provided producer support mechanisms to manage JD in their herd by providing access to a JD Counsellor to assist with considering management and trading options.
  • The previous National BJD Financial and Non-Financial (FNF) Assistance Package for herds infected with BJD closed as of 30 June 2016.
  • Created the CCA JD Testing Rebate Scheme for beef producers to claim costs of testing for interstate movement requirements or CattleMAP.
  • Assisted producers to offset CattleMAP external audit costs.

Testing methods

  • Approving diagnostic tests for use in the national program, while promoting herd assurance and animal health risks assessments as the basis for JD control.


  • Publishing guidelines for managing the risks of Johne’s disease spread at saleyards.

History of the National BJD Strategic Plan

In 1998, an AHA discussion paper on the future of Johne’s disease control in the Australian cattle industries obtained general agreement for a detailed evaluation of current control programs.

Funded by the cattle industries, the evaluation looked at 10 priority areas, including surveillance methods for JD in cattle, effectiveness of the Cattle Market Assurance Program (CattleMAP) and testing methods for JD in cattle.

Zones for BJD control

Zoning was introduced in 1999 to contain the spread of BJD:

  • Western Australia (WA) was declared a ‘BJD Free Zone’
  • Queensland and the Northern Territory (NT) (traditionally free of JD), as well as most of NSW and northern pastoral areas of South Australia (SA), were declared ‘Protected Zones’
  • Southern South Australia, Victoria and parts of NSW were declared ‘Control Zones’
  • Mainland Tasmania was declared a ‘Residual Zone’, but Flinders Island and the rest of the Furneaux group were declared ‘Protected Zones’.

Higher status zones (i.e. zones with lower risk of JD) protected their favourable status by placing controls on animals moving from lower status zones (i.e. higher risk zones) and by resolving incursions or existing infection as they occurred.

Herd assessments

It’s always been agreed that JD status was based on some level of herd assessment rather than a declaration and a test of the individual animals to be moved. Herd assessment is achieved by testing or compliance with a biosecurity standard (e.g. Beef Only) and through hygienic calf rearing practices in the dairy sector.

National approach

The former National Bovine Johne’s Disease Advisory Committee (comprising members from the Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Lot Feeders’ Association, Australian Dairy Farmers and governments) circulated to its stakeholders an evaluation’s recommendations for future BJD management strategies in May 2001. A national meeting was held in September 2001 to develop a national BJD approach.

The draft ‘National Approach to bovine Johne’s disease in Australia’ developed by the cattle industries and governments was endorsed at a June 2003 meeting to facilitate consistent and complementary programs across the affected livestock industries and jurisdictions.

After reviewing the plan, new strategies, such as the National Dairy BJD Assurance Score, Beef Only and the National BJD Financial and Non-Financial (FNF) Assistance Package were implemented in June 2004.

Industry–government partnership

The BJD Strategic Plan 2012–2020 was funded by the beef cattle and dairy industries. The National BJD Steering Committee (NBJDSC) drove the plan and is comprised of representatives from Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Dairy Farmers, Meat & Livestock Australia, Dairy Australia and the Australian Government Animal Health Committee.

AHA coordinates the NBJDSP on behalf of the industries and receives technical advice from the National Technical Adviser and the BJD technical advisory groups, through the Animal Health Committee.

The program recognises the contribution made by a number of organisations that assist the cattle and dairy industries in the control of JD.

Industry partners

Government partners

Related links


Page reviewed: 22/08/2017