Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food is reminding WA cattle owners that the transitional arrangements for the Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) will end on 30 June 2017.
WA Chief Veterinary Officer Mia Carbon said that the J-BAS was a tool developed by Animal Health Australia following national deregulation of Johne’s disease in cattle.
“The J-BAS provides a guide to the risk of Johne’s disease occurring on a beef cattle property,” Dr Carbon said.
“Producers can use the J-BAS in conjunction with other tools to demonstrate to buyers the likelihood of Johne’s disease being present in their herd.
“When the J-BAS was introduced on 1 July 2016, thanks to Western Australia’s history of being a bovine Johne’s disease free zone, all WA beef herds received the highest assurance level of J-BAS 8 as long as they did not have a history of ovine Johne’s disease on the property.
“To maintain their J-BAS at level 8, producers need to complete an on-farm biosecurity plan with oversight from their veterinarian by 30 June 2017.”
Dr Carbon said that participation in the J-BAS was voluntary but that some buyers may require a J-BAS.
“Producers are advised to consider their current and future production systems and whether their buyers are likely to require a J-BAS now or in the future,” she said.
“Dairy producers can use the revised Dairy Score if they want to maintain a status for Johne’s disease on their property.
“The department has produced a factsheet and flowchart to assist in answering some of the common queries about how the J-BAS works and how it affects WA cattle owners. These materials are available on the department website agric.wa.gov.au – search ‘J-BAS’.
“We have also emailed cattle owners on WA’s Stock Brand register with this information and with industry and department contacts for further information.”