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Work continues to maintain BJD-free status for Western Australia

Released on

Released on:
Wednesday, 14. August 2013 - 11:30

The Department of Agriculture and Food has delivered its latest round of test results as work continues with pastoralists and industry to maintain the State’s freedom from bovine Johne’s disease (BJD).

The department traced bulls imported from a BJD-infected herd in Queensland to properties in the Kimberley.

Department Livestock Biosecurity Director Michelle Rodan said industry supported maintaining WA as a BJD Free Zone.

“Test results to date indicate this remains achievable, subject to ongoing testing across five pastoral properties in the Kimberley,” Dr Rodan said.

To date, 177 imported bulls have been located and sampled.

“One bull, although not displaying clinical signs, has been confirmed as shedding BJD bacteria, meaning there has been a risk of transmission to other cattle. As a result, the impacted property is undertaking a destock of at-risk animals which have had contact with the bull,” Dr Rodan said.

“A second bull, on another property, had evidence of infection but was demonstrated not to be shedding BJD bacteria. The testing indicates that this bull would have posed a risk of infection to other animals in the future if not culled as part of this program.”

Testing of trace bulls is ongoing. In addition, herd testing has been undertaken involving hundreds of faecal samples.

“Herd testing for 2013 has been completed on three properties and there has been no evidence of infection in these herds to date,” Dr Rodan said. “Herd testing on the remaining two properties continues.”

Dr Rodan said movement restrictions and testing continue on the properties in accordance with the National Johne’s Disease Program requirements for a BJD Free Zone. Testing is likely to be ongoing for several years.

“The department is working with affected producers to minimise the impact of movement restrictions,” she said. “Movement of certain low-risk classes of cattle off restricted properties is allowed under permit and in accordance with the national program.”

Dr Rodan reminded producers of additional import conditions for beef cattle from Queensland entering Western Australia now in effect.

“These conditions were introduced in response to industry concerns about reducing the risk of introducing BJD into the State,” she said. “Additional requirements involve a herd-of-origin CattleMAP status of MN2 or MN3, or a negative herd ‘Check Test’ for BJD.”

Conditions of entry for stock being moved into WA are set out in the Health Certificate for Movement of Stock into Western Australia (LB1) available at


Media contact: Jodie Thomson, media liaison        +61 (0)8 9368 3937