The Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is working with
Ontario beef producers and veterinarians to raise awareness of
and develop best management practices for Johne’s Disease.
Johne’s Disease is a production-limiting disease that is spread
to newborn calves through fecal-oral transfer. The greatest
threat for the continued spread of the disease is in enclosed
calving areas, where intensive calving practices take place
during the winter. The most effective way of preventing the
spread is by improving biosecurity practices.
With $54,000 in funding, from the Agricultural Biosecurity
Program (ABP), the OCA is aiming to work with up to 100 Ontario
beef producers who will have a veterinarian take blood samples
from their herd, submit them for testing at the Animal Health
Lab in Guelph for Johne’s Disease, and then develop a
farm-specific Animal Health Risk Assessment and Management Plan
(RAMP) for each participating producer.
This project will enhance the relationship between producers and
their herd veterinarians, assisting both to become aware of
industry initiatives towards enhanced biosecurity practices.
Producers are encouraged to consult with veterinarians on herd
disease prevention programs, due to the increasing pressure to
focus on biosecurity measures. This project will enable
producers to consult with their herd veterinarians on basic
disease control principles using Johne’s Disease as the
“Thanks to Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) funding, this
project will encourage the use of management plans and basic
biosecurity protocols that Ontario cattle producers can
implement on their own farms,” says OCA Executive Director Dave
Stewart. “This will heighten awareness and minimize the spread
of Johne’s Disease.”
This project commenced in October 2010 and is scheduled to wrap
up in August 2012. Participating veterinarians were trained to
identify Johne’s Disease risks on farm. Participating producers
have completed a quiz on Johne’s Disease. The producers who have
completed the program (on-farm RAMP), have a greater awareness
of the risk factors for Johne’s Disease in general, as well as
the risk factors that exist on their own individual farms.
The ABP is funded through Growing Forward, a
federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The AAC assists in
the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario.
information on the Johnes Beef Cattle Awareness Program please
contact the OCA office at 1.866.370.2333 or contact Dr. Ann Godkin at OMAFRA reachable at 519.846.3409 or by