Sheep producers are reminded that a modified approach to the vaccination subsidy for Johne’s disease (JD) in sheep is now in effect in South Australia through an industry endorsed and funded regulated program.
The changes, which took effect from 1 July, follow a joint PIRSA and industry review of the program and respond to an increasing number of detections of JD in the South East and Adelaide Hills.
There is now more emphasis on prevention to minimise the disease risk on properties.
Producers with new detections, or their at risk neighbours and trace property owners, will receive assistance through a 50% Gudair vaccination subsidy for the first year.
Quotes attributable to Chief Veterinary Officer, Roger Paskin
The economic impact on a sheep flock due to unmanaged JD is significant due to decreased meat and wool production and deaths. This is likely to occur in higher rainfall areas and properties with higher stocking densities.
As the bacterium can survive in the environment for some time, combined with a long incubation period, there is often a delay from infection of a flock to signs of the disease becoming noticeable. By the time these clinical signs appear the condition is always fatal.
While there is no cure for Johne’s disease, it can be effectively managed with vaccination and on-farm biosecurity practices. Detection is the first step in managing it to reduce sheep losses. It is also important to be vigilant in knowing what animals you are buying.
Every South Australian property with livestock should have a biosecurity plan in place to help ensure the risk of disease is managed properly.
Johne’s disease is a chronic, infectious and incurable wasting disease. In addition to sheep it can also be found in cattle and goats.
Johne’s disease is a notifiable disease under the Livestock Act 1997 and any suspect cases must be reported to Biosecurity SA.