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New NT biosecurity protocols for Johne’s Disease management

The Northern Territory cattle industry has unanimously agreed an assurance level of Johne’s Disease Biosecurity Assurance Scheme (JBAS) 6 would best facilitate movement of cattle while maintaining biosecurity requirements consistent with live export requirements.

NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources Chief Veterinary Officer Mr Kevin de Witte said NT properties are well placed to act by 30 June 2017 to maintain a JBAS of 6 under new biosecurity protocols for Johne’s Disease (JD) that will take effect from 1 July 2017.

The new regulations are in response to a national industry led framework for JD management that was implemented in July 2016 and agreement between NT livestock industries for the appropriate level of risk management to maintain property freedom from JD.

From 1 July 2017 the Northern Territory will have an entry requirement of JBAS 6 for all cattle, unless they are consigned direct to slaughter.

“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,” Mr de Witte said.

“This is a straightforward process and there is no requirement for veterinary involvement or Check Testing to maintain JBAS 6.”

When the new national industry framework for JD management was implemented all Territory properties were given an interim JBAS 7 score for trading purposes for a 12-month transition period to 30 June 2017.

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.

“Industry considered how much assurance they would like to retain to minimise the risk of JD detections, which could significantly impact individual properties’ market access if detected,” Mr de Witte said.

“Producers need to be aware of the risk for acquiring JD when purchasing stock and can implement enhanced levels of assurances about the health of the livestock as part of their property biosecurity management plans.

“If vaccination is considered, then identification of vaccinated animals with a three-hole ear punch will be required.”

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

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