The sheep and wool industry is being invited to have its say on the future management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia.
WoolProducers Australia (WPA) and Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) are seeking feedback from the sheep and wool industry on the future management of OJD, with the 2013-2018 National Ovine Johne’s Disease Management Plan (NOJDMP) due to finish in 2018. The current NOJDMP was prepared by WPA and SPA after consultation with industry in 2012-13.
WPA Policy Director, Amanda Olthof, says the current NOJDMP and the tools underpinning it will be reviewed to ensure OJD continues to be effectively managed and its spread is minimised.
“The current NOJDMP has been effective in its objectives to minimise the risk of infection to properties and regions that appear to be disease free and to reduce the financial impacts and adverse animal health and welfare effects of OJD on sheep flocks and the wider industry,” Ms Olthof says.
“It is important all sheep and wool stakeholders have their say and provide feedback on how OJD should be managed.”
Since the start of the current NOJDMP a number of changes have occurred within the industry, including tools and strategies such as the Sheep Health Declaration and abattoir surveillance being managed through other industry funded projects, due to efficiency and cost effectiveness.
SPA Animal Health and Welfare Manager, Stephen Crisp, says there are currently two broad options which will be considered in the review process.
“The two options include: the current NOJDMP will cease, however the tools and strategies for managing OJD will continue to be available through the Sheep Health Project and producers will be encouraged to maintain biosecurity for OJD and other diseases and conditions; or a revised OJD framework will be developed based on the current plan and taking in to account stakeholder feedback,” Mr Crisp says.
“The current NOJDMP doesn’t stipulate regulation of OJD management, this can only be determined by individual state jurisdictions, however it is important the industry has its say on effective management.”
WPA and SPA have developed a discussion paper outlining the review process and are seeking feedback from interested stakeholders.