CHANGES: Gympie vet Dr Justin Schooth explains the changes coming to BJD handling.
CHANGES: Gympie vet Dr Justin Schooth explains the changes coming to BJD handling.

Bovine Johne's disease the hot cattle industry topic

BIG changes to the way bovine Johne's disease is handled come into effect next month, according to Gympie veterinarian Justin Schooth.

Dr Schooth was speaking at the mid-weigh stage of the 2017 Sullivan Livestock Gympie Carcass Classic held at Cloyna feedlot this week.

He said that with no real health problems for the cattle, things went along pretty well.

"I would take the opportunity to talk about the latest hot industry topic,” he said. "I have had a number of graziers come up to me here today as the topic is causing concern in the industry.

"In the past Queensland cattle were assumed to be BJD-free.

"As of end of July, cattle will have to be tested to prove they are free.”

BJD status will be assessed on a one-to-seven scale. If animals have not been tested they will score zero, the same as infected animals.

Dr Schooth said not having animals tested could have consequences when selling as a score of six or seven was required before animals could enter Western Australia or the Northern Territory.

"Graziers need to prepare a BJD management plan,” he said.

"This can be a self-assessment of risks using the 40-page document and guide, and needs to be checked by a vet.”

He urged graziers to contact their vet or local BioSecurity as there could be marketing implications.