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South Australia leading nation in protecting cattle operations from bovine Johne’s disease
June 15, 2017

South Australia is leading the nation in protecting dairy and beef cattle operations from bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) as new rules come into place next month.
“Draconian measures” had been overturned in the new national BJD framework, according to Biosecurity SA chief veterinary officer Roger Paskin, with cattle producers responsible in “determining what cattle are suitable to be introduced to their property”.

Properties infected with BJD, a notifiable disease, were no longer subject to quarantine, allowing cattle to be traded directly, online or in market.

“Each cattle producer is responsible for determining what cattle are suitable to be introduced to their property,” Dr Paskin said.

“(But) it is important to not offload clinically sick animals, whether it is BJD or some other disease such as pestivirus, by selling through saleyards.”

Each of SA’s 4000 beef producers and 200 dairy farmers would need individual biosecurity plans to ensure disease risk was managed appropriately.

The new framework was successfully trialled nationally in the past year.

Dr Paskin said it was an easy transition for SA as the new rules were modelled on a SA Dairy ManaJD program already operating in the dairy industry where producers gained a certificate describing their assurance score.

“We’re ahead of the game,” he said.

“Introducing this new system hasn’t even caused a ripple, we’re good at what we do.”

Through the current dairy program, more than 70 per cent of SA herds were tested and maintained negative herds with a dairy assurance score of 7 or above, Dr Paskin said.

BJD was rarely seen in beef cattle and was “almost non-existent” in SA but Dr Paskin said it was important to remain vigilant to protect the industry.

The beef industry’s wholesale value was $949 million and the dairy industry generates revenue of $937 million.

Under the new national framework in place from June 30, all cattle producers must ensure they have a written property biosecurity plan in place to be reviewed annually.

They must also demand a national cattle health declaration for animals introduced to their property, to use the JD Biosecurity Checklist before purchase and to only buy livestock from properties involved in the national assurance program.

 

Source: The Advertiser


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