New industry-agreed NT biosecurity protocols for Johne’s disease management

The Northern Territory (NT) cattle industry has unanimously agreed an assurance level of Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (JBAS) 6 would best facilitate movement of cattle into and within the Northern Territory while maintaining biosecurity requirements consistent with live export requirements. The requirements apply to all Johne’s disease (JD) susceptible species.

NT properties are well placed to act by 30 June 2017 to maintain a JBAS of 6 under new biosecurity protocols for JD that will take effect from 1 July 2017.

To ensure a JBAS 6 score, Northern Territory properties will need to complete and implement a Farm Biosecurity Plan that manages JD risk before 30 June 2017. There is no requirement for veterinary involvement or Check Testing to maintain JBAS 6.

Territory properties that do not implement a Farm Biosecurity Plan by 30 June 2017 will automatically drop to JBAS 0, equivalent to the score of an infected and unmanaged herd.

NT producers are encouraged to apply the JBAS 6 requirements for intrastate movements to protect their JD status and to seek a higher level of JD freedom assurance for seed stock purchases because of the potential disease risks that apply to importing breeding stock.  Animals vaccinated for JD must be identified with the three-hole ear punch to assist with interpretation of any future JD exposure status.

Information about national Johne’s disease management is available on the NT Government website.

Further information on requirements for other species, resources and tools to assist with herd management are available on the NT Government Livestock movement’s webpage.

Information about Johne’s disease is also available on the Farm Biosecurity Australia and Animal Health Australia websites.