Home Australia Future of WA cattle herd’s status as free of Bovine Johne’s Disease...

Future of WA cattle herd’s status as free of Bovine Johne’s Disease in doubt

Future of WA cattle herd’s status as free of Bovine Johne’s Disease in doubt

Hundreds of Western Australian cattle properties are at possibility of having the wasting disease Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) in their herds after testing published the disease’s doubtless presence on a southern property for eight years. 

Key points:

  • Cattle-wasting Bovine Johne’s Disease is considerable on a property in the south of WA
  • Except now, the cattle strain of the disease was now not idea to be screen in the voice
  • Hundreds of properties are at possibility of having infected animals thru considerable stock circulate

The voice’s agriculture department, the Division of Main Industries and Regional Style (DPIRD) has since determined the disease might possibly moreover now not be eradicated with out considerable economic pain to the voice’s cattle industry. 

Early Newspaper

The cattle industry will grasp in mind deregulating WA’s latest statewide administration methodology of BJD over the coming weeks. 

Johne’s disease — pronounced yo-nees — is a power, incurable bacterial disease that causes revolutionary diarrhoea, weight loss, and in the end loss of life. 

It might possibly moreover be prevented thru vaccination. 

Whereas the sheep strain of the disease, Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD), is endemic in the WA sheep flock, up till now the cattle strain was now not idea to be screen in WA.

It was last detected in 2012 on a Kimberley cattle space, which end result in a a success four-365 days lend a hand watch over and testing program to eradicate the disease. 

Coast makes eradication demanding 

DPIRD chief veterinary officer Michelle Rodan stated the disease had been discovered in a “house bred” animal which was eight years used, which intended the disease had potentially been on the infected property for eight or extra years. 

She stated the department had now not been in a position to title the source of the infection. 

Cows grazing on grass with a rainbow in the background

WA for the time being has strict import cases for cattle from the eastern states in a yell to maintain BJD out. (

Equipped: Mandie Hudson


Ms Rodan stated DPIRD’s prognosis of a bunch of properties at possibility of having infected animals thru stock circulate was “considerable” and in the expose of 480. 

“You can moreover need it (BJD) in a herd at beneath one per cent prevalence, so the bulk of those properties would be okay and obtain now not contain the disease, however there will likely be several properties obtainable that enact contain it. 

“The complexity is to in reality find those properties, and or now not it is essential to status the regulatory burden on all of them in case they’ve the disease. 

“It be shrimp bit esteem doing COVID tracing, however doing it with a four to eight 365 days slip, and having individuals locked up for that interval of time whereas you are trying to regain to the bottom of it.

“Sadly eradication with a test that would possibly’t detect it in an infected animal till slack in its existence methodology you are continuously chasing four to eight years behind the disease.”

Deregulation welcomed by northern producers

WA for the time being operates beneath strict import cases for the entry of cattle from diversified states with BJD, designed to strive to forestall the disease from entering its herd. 

Ms Rodan stated if the industry agreed eradication was very unlikely, WA would likely transfer from voice-based administration to an individual property administration design.  

“A host of systems would feature perfectly effectively with BJD, others would must maintain it out, so the stage of possibility would be at a property stage which is how they feature in the eastern states,” she stated. 

Removing border restrictions and managing possibility at a property stage has been welcomed by Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association chairman David Stoate.

“We finally might possibly moreover merely assume some commonsense,” he stated. 

Pastoralist in green shirt kneeling in fodder

David Stoate says removing border restrictions and managing BJD possibility at a property stage was commonsense.(

ABC Rural: Courtney Fowler


Mr Stoate stated voice-based lend a hand watch over had restricted regain admission to to genetics from exterior of WA and had rate the northern purple meat industry “lots” of cash.

“It restricts regain admission to to [high quality] genetics from exterior of WA, which in the north of the voice typically methodology from Queensland,” he stated. 

Mr Stoate stated WA cattle weren’t for the time being receiving a top fee for his or her BJD-free status. 

“The market argument for maintaining law merely doesn’t maintain any water,” he stated. 

Badgingarra-based cattle producer Dale Park was an suggest for maintaining WA’s strict border ideas to maintain BJD out of the voice and failed to think they had rate the industry distinguished cash. 

He stated he was disappointed however now not surprised the disease had been discovered. 

“The border controls contain been with out a doubt simplest merely, there was gentle stock coming in and out.”

Discovery simplest a matter of time

A vet stands with cows in the background.

Esperance vet Dr Enoch Bergman believes it was simplest a matter of time till BJD was discovered in WA cattle. (

ABC Rural: Tara De Landgrafft


Esperance-based vet Enoch Bergman stated he suspected BJD had been screen in WA for lots of years. 

“We have merely been touching the aspects in terms of our skill to witness for it. I’ve continuously believed BJD has existed in WA and has been here for moderately some time,” he stated. 

“I think now that we now contain discovered BJD in WA we can regain on with helping producers be taught the formula to lend a hand watch over it at an individual herd stage and begin focussing on diseases of better significance.”

Mr Bergman stated there had been no proven possibility to human health thru the consumption of cattle infected with BJD. 

Future of WA cattle herd’s status as free of Bovine Johne’s Disease in doubt