Cattle producers reminded to plan ahead for Johne’s disease

Victorian cattle producers are being reminded of the need to implement an on-farm biosecurity plan by 30 June 2017 if they wish to take up the voluntary Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) or maintain their current J-BAS.

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne said cattle buyers may request a Cattle Health Declaration with a J-BAS before agreeing to purchase animals so maintaining the J-BAS will be of interest for anyone looking to buy or sell livestock.

“A farm biosecurity plan addresses all the measures used to mitigate the risk of entry or spread of weeds, pests and diseases. In many cases, the plan helps to document activities already being undertaken by livestock producers,” Dr Milne said.

“While J-BAS is voluntary, Western Australia and Northern Territory have imposed a minimum J-BAS requirement of 8 and 6 respectively for cattle entering from Victoria, along with other conditions.

“For a J-BAS of 6 or less, a property biosecurity plan is developed by the cattle producer, without the need for it to be overseen by a veterinary advisor. However, for a J-BAS of 7 or 8, the plan needs to be overseen by the producer’s veterinarian.”

Animal Health Australia has information available on its Farm Biosecurity Plan web page, including a template and other key information to assist producers with developing their biosecurity plans.

Biosecurity planning information is also available from the Livestock Biosecurity Network and veterinary practitioners.

Once complete the biosecurity plans remain with the producer and should be kept on hand for future reference. Plans do not need to be lodged with anyone.

The voluntary J-BAS is managed by Animal Health Australia on behalf of the Cattle Council of Australia who represents the industry. Transitional arrangements for J-BAS end on 1 July 2017.

For other information on Johne’s disease in cattle, producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner and visit Animal Health Australia’s Johne’s disease in cattle web page at:

Source: Agriculture Victoria