Animal Health Australia says progress is being made on BJD reform

Beef Central, 05/05/2016

Animal Health Australia issued the following update on how work to develop a new approach to managing Bovine Johne’s Disease in Australia is progressing:

The new Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) Framework document, facilitated by Animal Health Australia (AHA) on behalf of industry and governments, was released in March 2016.

The Framework offers a fresh approach to the management of the endemic disease and prioritises on-farm biosecurity risk management, leading to increased market options for every livestock producer.

The Framework is now in the implementation phase, with AHA working with the state departments of agriculture, industry bodies and producers to finalise a cohesive communications plan to educate all affected parties, said AHA’s Executive Manager of Biosecurity Services, Duncan Rowland.

“Now that the new approach to the management of BJD has been agreed upon it’s time to shift the thinking of industry away from regulated control of an individual disease to the broader on-farm risk-based approach to biosecurity,” said Mr Rowland.

“The state governments are currently reviewing how they are going to address the Framework recommendations, and are working with their industries to finalise their respective implementation plans. Although implementation timeframes will vary from state-to-state there is certainly an understanding for the need to embark upon the new approach as soon as possible,” said Mr Rowland.

The communications plan will support the state-based implementation by building awareness of the new approach and highlighting the need for strong biosecurity planning on-farm. The plan will also emphasise how Australian producers, supported by minimal regulation where required, are able to manage their own biosecurity risk status.

“This is a significant step forward for the industry with Australian livestock producers now able to take control of their own productivity and profitability,” said Mr Rowland.

Next steps in the implementation process include:

  • the deregulation and removal of zoning, which will occur as the state governments implement the new Framework
  • the development of tools and resources (such as biosecurity checklists, a risk profiling tool and cooperative biosecurity guidelines) to assist producers reduce the prevalence of production diseases and improve the management of these diseases
  • the enhancement of the existing National Cattle Health Statement
  • the hosting of two public forums, to meet with producers and address any questions they may have
  • an evaluation of the CattleMAP and its relevance to the new Framework.

AHA will continue to work with all affected stakeholders on the implementation of the Framework and the shared goal of improved management of endemic diseases.

Source: Animal Health Australia


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