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Aust Vet J. 2001 Jul;79(7):484-91.

Ovine Johne's disease in Australia--the first 20 years.

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NSW Agriculture, Orange.



To review the history of ovine Johne's disease in Australia.


Relevant publications and reports were identified and reviewed to document the spread of ovine Johne's disease (OJD) from 1980 until the end of 2000, as well as the response of industry and government to the spread of this disease.


OJD was first diagnosed in the central tablelands region of New South Wales in 1980. Since then it has spread, either from the initial focus or through separate introductions so that by December 2000 a total of 823 infected flocks had been identified. Cases have been confirmed in New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, on Flinders Island in Tasmania, on Kangaroo Island in South Australia and in Western Australia. In early 1999, agreement was reached to fund and implement a 6-year, $40 million National OJD Control and Evaluation Program (NOJDP). This program is jointly funded by the sheep industries (national and state), and Commonwealth and State governments, and is managed by Animal Health Australia.


A national program is now in place to support the control of OJD and research to determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of eradication. The development of new diagnostic techniques, such as abattoir surveillance and pooled faecal culture, provide opportunities to refine surveillance strategies and to define better the distribution and prevalence of this disease, as required by the national program. Effective control measures, combined with quality surveillance data, will enable informed decision making for the future national management of OJD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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