The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) welcomes the proposed amendments to the management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia.
The National OJD Management Plan will take effect from 1 July 2013 and the proposed amendments include a simpler management system that relies on a risk management approach; encouragement for producers to collectively develop their own Regional Biosecurity Plans; no control or protected areas and the continuation of Sheep Health Statements but the removal of the ABC point scheme.
WAFarmers Wool Section President, Ed Rogister, said WAFarmers had been in consultation with the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers Australia on this issue over the past few weeks.
“The proposed amendments will allow producers to have a simpler management system in place that relies on a risk management approach,” Mr Rogister said.
“It will encourage producers to collectively develop their own Regional Biosecurity Plans to ensure that the spread of the disease is minimal and will encourage neighbours to work together.
“Producers are encouraged to request that a Sheep Health Statement be provided when purchasing sheep and with the removal of the ABC point system, vaccination will remain a personal choice for producers.”
Mr Rogister urged producers to test for OJD at abattoirs to monitor individual flock OJD control programs.
Producers wishing to have their sheep inspected should contact WA OJD Coordinator, Dr Anna Erickson, on (08) 9881 0211 or 0437 801 416.
WAFarmers Wool and Meat Sections will formally consider the recommendations at their joint meeting on 18 February 2013.
The discussion paper is available from the OJD website, www.ojd.com.au.