Cattle producers now have a new tool to help avoid and control bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) on their properties with Animal Health Australia’s (AHA) comprehensive suite of BJD pages on the AHA website.
These new web pages provide the latest, up-to-date information on the disease and are also useful for vets, stock agents, agriculture shows, breed associations or anyone associated with the dairy and beef cattle industries.
The web pages include:
• important information about Australia’s BJD strategic plan
• contact information for producers seeking further assistance
• BJD related documents for further reading
• recommended biosecurity practices to avoid the disease
• testing and diagnosis information.
BJD is an incurable infection of cattle and like ovine Johne’s disease, it is caused by a bacterium (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis) that lives primarily in the intestines of infected animals. It causes the intestinal wall to thicken and reduces the normal absorption of nutrients from grazing. Symptoms include wasting and chronic diarrhoea. BJD results in lost production and causes infected animals to starve to death.
Cattle infected with BJD can often take months or even years before showing clinical signs and with the right conditions the bacteria can survive for long periods in the environment. These two factors are another reason why the disease can spread easily with little warning.
The Farm Biosecurity website also has a handy set of fact sheets about BJD in beef cattle that can be downloaded from the beef cattle industry page – simply scroll down to the resources section.