Production

Vaccine provides new approach to bovine Johne’s Disease

Beef Central, 15/07/2016

Eligible cattle producers in Victoria can now access an industry-funded subsidy for Johne’s disease vaccine to assist with the management of this disease in their herds.

After 20 years of operation, the Victorian Test and Control Program for infected herds will close and be replaced by the vaccine subsidy of $12.50 per dose, which is around half the expected retail cost. The subsidy is available until 31 December 2019.

Bovine Johne’s disease is a chronic, incurable wasting disease caused by bacterial infection.

Although the Test and Control Program was successful at reducing the number of animals testing positive in participating herds, it hasn’t been effective at reducing the spread of Johne’s disease between farms.

As a result of a review of the Test and Control Program, combined with national changes to Johne’s disease management commencing on1 July 2016, it has been determined that the program isn’t an effective use of industry levies.

The national changes commenced on 1 July 2016, informed by a national review in 2015, involve a switch to an industry-managed and market-driven approach and aligns with Victoria’s preferred approach.

Agriculture Victoria, Chief Veterinary Officer Charles Milne said vaccination should not be the sole approach to controlling the disease in infected herds.

“Because of the complexity of managing Johne’s disease, farmers need to combine vaccine use with other on-farm management tools such as hygienic calf rearing,” Dr Milne said.

“Producers who want to take advantage of the subsidised vaccine should talk with their vet about the best approach for managing Johne’s disease in their herd.”

“We encourage cattle owners to implement a biosecurity plan and make sure any stock introduced to their property come with a properly completed animal health statement – it’s up to all of us to play our part in managing Johne’s disease.”

“The Test and Control Program has been available in Victoria since 1996 for infected herds. The efforts of past participants, private veterinary practitioners and departmental staff are acknowledged for the significant contribution they have made to control of Johne’s disease in Victoria.”

Although Johne’s disease will remain a notifiable disease in Victoria, there will be no other regulation of the disease by Agriculture Victoria.

Agriculture Victoria Have written to current participants in the Test and Control Program to provide further information about the new approach.

Source: Agriculture Victoria. For more information please visit agriculture.vic.gov.au  or call Agriculture Victoria on 136 186

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