Demonstrating JD assurance pays off
The past few years have seen major changes in the way we manage Johne’s
disease in all species in Australia. Ten years ago we started to move more towards
focusing on assurance of herd and ﬂock status with the start of the JD Market
Assurance Programs. There are now four MAPs; for cattle, sheep, goats and
alpaca. They are voluntary programs based on risk assessment and biosecurity
management, demonstrating status by herd and ﬂock testing and demonstrating
compliance by record keeping, annual reviews and regular external auditing.
The MAPs are now complemented by other QA schemes including the Assurance Based
Credit (ABC) Scheme for sheep, Beef Only and Q-Alpaca that are more attractive to
commercial producers. The dairy industry has also just ﬁnalised the National Dairy BJD
Assurance Score, the goat industry is in the process of ratifying an assurance rating
Inside > scheme and the deer industry is about to start developing one.
Johne’s Disease in SA - The advantages of these schemes is that they provide nationally standardised ways for
What’s the Score? livestock producers to assess and declare the risk that their animals may or may not be
Beef Only - Trading With infected with JD. Knowing their own herd or ﬂock score and knowing where they want it to
Conﬁdence in South Eastern be in the future, producers can use the scores to buy animals with greater assurance and
Australia better manage the risk of their herds and ﬂocks becoming infected.
Beef Only Audit Outcomes Continued Over >>
- Victoria 2005
National BJD Financial and
Non Financial Assistance
What’s the Score with BJD?
>> Continued from Cover
All of these QA schemes depend very heavily on the people making the declarations both
understanding how to do it correctly and then declaring the correct score. It would be nice
to be able to have conﬁdence in everyone all the time but, of course, the world doesn’t
work like that. If producers and others are to continue to have conﬁdence in QA schemes,
they have to be based on more than just another producer’s declaration. The schemes
themselves have to be monitored to demonstrate that they are “producing the goods.”
This edition of JD News includes updates on using the new Dairy Assurance Score in South
Australia and auditing sales of Beef Only cattle in Victoria. The dairy Assurance Score for
herds in the voluntary SA Dairy ManaJD program is based on auditing to check that the
farm conforms with the program.
The Victorian Beef Only sale audits in 2005 found very high levels of compliance, as they did
in 2004. This type of information has given Queensland conﬁdence to change its movement
requirements and allow entry of cattle to that State from Beef Only herds from June 2006,
without the need to test the herd.
In the past decade, the livestock industries in Australia have reviewed and renewed their
decisions to manage JD in this country. The approaches have moved very much from
regulated programs largely run by governments to more sustainable assurance programs
that are based on risk assessment and management and backed by the livestock industries.
It’s critical to their ongoing success that they are sound and this success is regularly
demonstrated by audit and by monitoring the JD situation in assured populations.
David Kennedy, National Johne’s Disease Technical Advisor.
Johne’s Disease in SA - what’s the score?
Nearly two thirds of all South Australia’s dairy farmers have now enrolled in the SA
Dairy ManaJD program to test their cattle for Bovine Johne’s Disease.
This is great news and shows that farmers are recognising that knowledge about BJD is
important as a management tool. Those who have disease-free farms can now ensure that
they do not introduce it, and those with BJD on their farms can manage it on a test-and-
control program, and gradually improve their Dairy Assurance Score.
Most SA dairy farms are not infected with BJD and there are now over 150 Score 7-10
dairy herds in the State. Herds that are infected tend to have low levels of the disease and
only three herds so far have more than 2% of cow reactors at the ﬁrst test. So far, only 20
new herds have been detected in the testing program, and most infected cattle do not
appear as clinical animals, indicating that farmers are living with BJD without recognising
this. There are two points to be aware of:
1. Subclinical disease costs farmers money (up to $50 per cow in the herd per year see
2. The previous categories of “No known Johne’s“ or “Non Assessed” have very low levels
Declaration of scores
Declaration of the Dairy Assurance Score is required for all sales of dairy cattle in SA,
including private sales and trade of cross-bred cattle born on dairy farms. This declaration is
a simple matter of marking the National Vendor Declaration in section 9, or using the special
declaration forms found in the Dairy ManaJD manuals. In SA, cattle that are being sold with
a dairy score of 7 or above are achieving improved prices and there are constant enquiries
from farmers wishing to source score 7 or higher dairy cows or cross bred cattle. Buyers
and agents are increasingly looking for information on herd BJD status in order to assist in
Costs of BJD
A common misunderstanding by farmers is that BJD is not a real cost in milking herds due
to the low levels of disease. Recent studies however indicate that this may not be the case.
A study presented at the recent Colloquium on Johne’s Disease in Copenhagen examined
a dairy herd in Ireland and the consequences of the introduction of the disease.Prior to the
introduction of infected cows (from Belgium) in 1998, the herd was in the top 10% of herds
in the district. >>
>> Continued Get on with it
By 2003, the herd was in the bottom 10% as the disease Testing of dairy herds in SA is being funded by the SA
spread, and reduced production and fertility. Clinical losses cattle industry until 2007 when new arrangements will be
were not yet a feature. There was an estimated 525 Euro undertaken. So dairy farmers in SA wishing to enrol in the
proﬁt margin per cow in the herd difference due to the program and have the herd tested should ask at the nearest
introduction of BJD. Other studies in NZ and USA have regional PIRSA ofﬁce, their own vet or contact the SA BJD
indicated that costs of BJD in herds may range from $50 to Program Manager on 08 8391 7100.
$200 per cow in the herd per year.
Contributed by Jeremy Rogers PIRSA.
Beef Only - trading with conﬁdence in South Eastern Australia
As a result of experiences with testing beef herds and following extensive trials of Beef Only sales, the beef
cattle industry and Animal Health Committee agreed in July 2004 that cattle from herds that qualify as Beef Only
represent a very low risk for bovine Johne’s disease.
They also agreed that breeding cattle originating from herds that qualify as Beef Only could be traded into the bovine Johne’s
disease Protected Zones in New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania without the herd of origin having to be tested.
The speciﬁc eligibility requirements of the Beef Only scheme have now been recognized nationally for over 12 months and
many cattle have been traded under the scheme.
Auditing of the Beef Only scheme is conducted on a regular basis by state animal health authorities. Routine audits of
randomly selected lots are conducted whenever Beef Only cattle are presented in a sale yard. Intensive audits, where
all lots are closely scrutinised and a minimum of 5% of vendors are selected for a detailed on -farm audit, are also
conducted. Figures recently released by the Victorian DPI (Tables 1 and 2), show a high level of compliance with the scheme
This means that buyers can be conﬁdent about the statements made on National Beef Only Animal Health Statements and in
the high bovine Johne’s disease assurance of Beef Only cattle.
Beef Only Audit Outcomes – VICTORIA 2005
Table 1. Summary of Beef Only auditing activity in Victoria - 2005
Routine audits Intensive audits On-farm audits
2005 Yards Lots Vendors Yards Lots Vendors
Q1 15 221 127 7 164 86 13
Q2 2 28 11 2 21 11 2
Q3 5 12 6 2 26 13 4
Q4 8 86 51 3 27 15 3
TOTAL 30 347 195 14 238 125 22
Table 2. Summary of Beef Only auditing outcomes in Victoria - 2005
Outcomes Issues Frequency Comment
Yard Audits Vendor complied fully 154
Incomplete AHS 28 Minor generally – eg wrong zone,
no NVD number
No Animal Health Statement 9
Post Breeder NLIS but not noted 3 Source veriﬁed and OK when on-farm
as purchased on AHS audit conducted
Dairy cattle in lot 1
On-farm audits Farm complied fully 20
Dairy cattle on farm 2 farms, All were dairy X calves less than
total 3 head 12 months old – herds suspended
from BO scheme for 5 years
Purchased cattle with no Beef Only
statement or not from MAP herd 0
Contributed by DPI Victoria
& MAP STATISTICS
Table 1. Number of known infected cattle herds, Table 5. Number of known infected goat herds,
March 2006 (NAHIS). March 2006 (NAHIS).
March 06 June 05 June 04 March 06 June 05 June 04
NSW 114 127 132 NSW 11 10 10
VIC 976 1033 1119 VIC 10 7 6
TAS 16 18 24 TAS 3 6 6
SA 54 44 53 SA 1 3 6
QLD 0 1 0 QLD 1 0 0
Total 1160 1223 1328 Total 26 26 28
Table 2. Numbers of assessed herds in CattleMAP, Table 6. Numbers of assessed herds in GoatMAP,
March 2006. March 2006.
MN1 MN2 MN3 MN1 MN2 MN3
NSW 141 213 308 662 NSW 14 19 8 41
VIC 128 102 105 335 VIC 2 1 1 4
TAS 90 108 66 264 TAS 7 10 1 18
SA 46 48 15 109 SA 0 2 0 2
QLD 0 0 0 0 QLD 0 0 0 0
Total 405 471 494 1370 Total 23 32 10 65
Table 3. Number of known infected sheep ﬂocks, Table 7. Number of known infected alpaca herds,
March 2006 (NAHIS). March 2006 (NAHIS).
March 06 June 05 June 04 March 06 June 05 June 04
NSW 1286 1286 335 NSW 0 0 0
VIC 1411 377 204 VIC 0 0 2
TAS 78 53 45 TAS 0 0 0
SA 126 66 57 SA 0 0 0
WA 18 18 18 Total 0 0 2
Total 1852 1800 659
Table 4. Number of SheepMAP Assured ﬂocks, Table 8. Numbers of assessed herds in AlpacaMAP,
March 2006 March 2006.
MN1 MN2 MN3 MN1 MN2 MN3
NSW 76 89 223 388 NSW 7 19 83 109
VIC 15 19 54 88 VIC 2 9 10 21
TAS 28 47 132 207 TAS 9 5 30 44
SA 9 11 11 31 SA 0 0 1 1
QLD 0 0 0 0 QLD 0 0 0 0
Total 128 166 420 714 Total 18 33 124 175
Table 9. Number of known infected deer herds,
March 2005 (NAHIS).
March 06 June 05 June 04
NSW 1 1 1
VIC 6 7 7
TAS 0 0 0
SA 1 3 2
Qld 0 0 0
Total 8 11 10
National BJD What’s the Score with BJD?
Financial Australia’s dairy farmers will soon have a voluntary
assurance system to help them manage bovine
and Non Financial Johne’s disease (BJD).
Assistance Package The National Dairy BJD Assurance Score is part of an
The Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) is assisting beef Australia-wide approach being developed by cattle industries
cattle producers whose herds are already known or and governments who are working towards a national, less-
found to be infected or are suspected to be infected regulated approach to managing BJD.
with Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD). Gippsland dairy farmer and national BJD committee dairy
representative, Chris Grifﬁn, described the Score as a
The scheme, known as the National BJD Financial and voluntary tool, based on self-assessment, to help farmers
Non-ﬁnancial Assistance Package, commenced on 1 July better manage the risk of BJD.
2004 and, by mid year 2006, had provided assistance to
75 producers. He said: “it provides clear steps and allows farmers to make
progress with BJD using existing herd classiﬁcations. It’s
The Cattle Council recognises that BJD is a disease of straightforward with the higher the Score, the lower the risk.“
signiﬁcance to the beef cattle industry and supports the
goals and objectives of the National BJD Strategic Plan. The 10 point system recognises a range of BJD assurance
This plan was developed by Animal Health Australia for the measures including:
cattle industry and is reviewed annually. • auditable hygienic calf rearing programs, such as the
One of these goals is to “Minimise the social, economic and Victorian Johne’s disease calf accreditation program or
trade impact of BJD at herd, regional and national levels.” the dairy company 3-Step Plan;
This goal is to be addressed through a series of measures • testing;
• control program participation; and
1. Provide ﬁnancial assistance to affected producers;
• the cattle BJD market assurance program (CattleMAP).
2. Reduce BJD prevalence; and
Mr Grifﬁn said the Score is part of the government and
3. Remove the stigma associated with BJD infection and cattle industry endorsed National BJD Strategic Plan. That
reduce emotional stress. plan aims to minimise the contamination of farms and farm
To date 43 Enhanced Property Disease Management Plans products; protect the status of non-infected herds; and
have been developed with the objective of eliminating minimise BJD’s social, economic and trade impact at herd,
BJD from the herds. The EPDMPs are being supported by regional and national levels.
some $1.3m in budgeted ﬁnancial assistance. As a result To ﬁnd out more, contact Dr Andrew Padula, animal
of participating in the program 9 producers have had their health program manager, on 03 9694 3787 or visit www.
trading status restored and many others are well on the way dairyaustralia.com.au and click ‘For Farmers’.
to achieving this goal.
Contributed by Dairy Australia on behalf of Australian Dairy Farmers.
All the producers who have participated in the program to
date have expressed their appreciation of the independent
facilitation role fulﬁlled by the two counsellors employed
under the program.
For more information contact your local BJD Counsellor or
Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia
Mr David Allan
Ph: 0427 572 879
NSW dairy farmer
Mr Campbell Trotter Australian Dairy
Ph: 0411 249 125 Farmers BJD
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org committee
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NEW SOUTH WALES QUEENSLAND
OJD Dr Rick Webster, Department of Primary Industries
Dr Ian Links, NSW Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Phone: (02) 6938 1999 Phone: (07) 3239 3528
Fax: (02) 6938 1809 Fax: (07) 3239 3510
Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Sally Spence, NSW Department of Primary Industries
Phone: (02) 6391 3630 OJD
Fax: (02) 6391 3388 Dr Cameron Bell, Department of Primary Industries
Phone: (03) 6233 5356
VICTORIA Fax: (03) 6278 1875
Dr Alison Lee, Department of Primary Industries BJD
Phone: (03) 5430 4508 Dr Rick Campbell, Department of Primary Industries
Fax: (03) 5430 4505 and Water
Email: email@example.com Phone: (03) 6421 7644
Fax: (03) 6421 7666
Dr Sally Ridge, Department of Primary Industries
Phone: (03) 9217 4237 WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Dr Peter Morcombe, Department of Agriculture and Food
SOUTH AUSTRALIA Phone: (08) 9368 3542
Fax: (08) 9367 6248
Dr Jack Reddin, Primary Industries and Resources
South Australia NORTHERN TERRITORY
Phone: (08) 8535 6408
Dr Brian Radunz, Department of Primary Industry,
Fax: (08) 8535 6427
Fisheries and Mines
Phone: (08) 8999 2130
BJD Fax: (08) 8999 2089
Dr Jeremy Rogers, Primary Industries and Resources Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (08) 8391 7138
For further information on any of the items in this newsletter please contact Lorna Citer, Manager, Johne’s Disease,
Animal Health Australia at email@example.com, (02) 6203 3922 or visit the Animal Health Australia website at