New South Wales will be reclassified as a Beef Protected Area under changes to the management of Bovine Johnes Disease in cattle in the State from July 1 this year.
NSW chief veterinary officer Ian Roth said that following a long period of consultation between the dairy and beef cattle industries and state and territory governments, NSW had agreed to become a Beef Protected Area in a national approach to BJD control.
The proposed changes were first flagged to industry in an article on Beef Central back in January, “Biggest changes to NSW in new BJD management plan.”
“The new approach, endorsed at a BJD Summit last November involving a broad sector of the NSW cattle industry, reaffirms the commitment to protect the beef sector from BJD, while allowing dairy producers greater control over how they manage their herds,” Mr Roth said.
BJD is a chronic disease of cattle which has no cure. Affected animals become thin and can ultimately die.
Mr Roth said maintaining and improving this BJD status of the State’s cattle industries was important for future export opportunities – not to mention the on-farm benefits of controlling the disease.
“Now that there is national agreement on the future directions for BJD management, BJD Zones will no longer be maintained in NSW from July 1 this year,” he said.
The current BJD control zones in the north east and south east of the State and in parts of the Riverina will be abolished as the entire state becomes a Beef Protected Area (compare maps by clicking images at bottom of this page).
“Under this national agreement, the onus is on cattle producers to be informed about the BJD status of the animals they are buying – and for dairy producers to supply a declaration of the Dairy BJD Assurance Score with every consignment of cattle they sell,” Mr Roth said.
“Beef producers in particular should be aware of the effect of buying in dairy or dairy-cross animals originating from dairy holdings, on their trading opportunities.”
Mr Roth said BJD can be introduced when new cattle are introduced to a herd – but tools exist to reduce the risk of bringing-infected animals.
“All cattle buyers should ask about the BJD status of stock before purchase and buy only low risk cattle – people selling dairy cattle must declare the BJD Assurance Score of every consignment offered for sale,” he said.
The Dairy BJD Assurance Score is a herd scoring system out of 10, based on the level of risk of BJD associated with the herd. The higher the BJD Assurance Score the lower the risk.
Beef-only producers are advised to avoid buying dairy cattle or only buy dairy cattle with a BJD Assurance Score of eight or more (from a Cattle MAP herd).
- For more information on the detail of the new changes in NSW go to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au or contact your local LHPA veterinarian or NSW DPI livestock officer.