Management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia beyond 2018 will continue as part of the Sheep Health Project at Animal Health Australia, enabling producers to still be able to use all the on-farm practices and tools currently recommended as part of a best practice approach to control.
The previous five-year National OJDMP (which ended in June 2018; below) is not being extended. The decision has been made by the sheep industry’s peak industry councils – Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia – based on expert technical advice that producers can continue to effectively manage the endemic disease as part of their overall approach to animal health and biosecurity.
OJD Management Plan 2013-18
Australia’s OJD National Management Plan 2013-18 had two main objectives:
- To minimise the risk of infection by the bacteria spreading to properties and regions that currently appear to be disease free.
- To reduce the financial impact and adverse animal health and welfare effects of the disease on individual flocks, and on the sheep industry as a whole.
Key features of the 2013-2018 National OJD Management Plan were:
- A management system that relies on a risk management approach and greater producer responsibility. It provides a National Framework for states to work from in setting their OJD policies, and does not interfere with trade.
- The continuation of Sheep Health Statement (SHS) but the removal of the current ABC point scheme. The ABC Scheme was built around the existence of recognised prevalence areas which will no longer exist.
- Encouragement for producers to collectively develop their own Regional Biosecurity Plans (RBPs), due to the added effectiveness of a collective approach. Guidelines will be provided to assist groups of producers in preparing RBPs.
- No control or protected areas – formal zoning is untenable due to the lack of a formal approval process for Regional Biosecurity Plans by State Governments.
- Increased emphasis on extension and communication activities to assist producers and industry to understand the new system.
- Abattoir monitoring as a means of providing individuals and regions with information on the prevalence of OJD. It remains the most cost-effective means of identifying a broad range of diseases affecting the sheep industry.
- On-going funding of OJD research and development work, with a greater emphasis placed on communicating these activities to industry.
A copy of the National OJD Management Plan 2013-18 can be downloaded here.