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Ag, vet experts to review Qld’s BJD response

Beef Central, 22/02/2013

The Queensland Government has announced it will subject its Bovine Johne's Disease response program to an independent review.

Grazier and former AgForce general president Brent Finlay and veterinary expert professor Jonathan Hill will provide an assessment of how the current policy and approach has worked, and will offer advice on the future direction of the program.

They will start their review in March and provide a final report by the end of April.

The review comes as the number of properties under movement restrictions in Queensland drops to 73, down from an initial 170 trace properties.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the current BJD response was agreed to by the government and industry last year, and is focused on maintaining the state’s protected zone status and eradicating BJD.

“Queensland’s beef industry is worth more than $4.5 billion per year and our State’s BJD protected status means Queensland has greater market access than other parts of Australia,” Mr McVeigh said.

“Eradicating BJD from affected properties continues to be our course of action until the response program is reviewed next month, after test results and other data are consolidated.

“We will be collectively reviewing the BJD response program and taking stock of how we are progressing and what we have achieved.

“Only then can we make an informed decision on the future direction.”

Mr McVeigh said testing was continuing with Biosecurity Queensland veterinary laboratories having so far received more than 5300 samples from more than 2900 animals from 80 properties.

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