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    Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
    The Honourable John McVeigh

    Queensland moves to contain cattle disease

    Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
    The Honourable John McVeigh

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Queensland moves to contain cattle disease

    Biosecurity Queensland is contacting properties which have received cattle from a beef stud property near Rockhampton where some livestock have been confirmed with Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD).

    Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said movement restrictions would be placed on the properties until Biosecurity Queensland staff could conduct risk assessments.

    “The risk assessment processes are expected to take a number of months,” Minister McVeigh said.

    “Biosecurity Queensland will work with property owners to develop an individual Property Disease Investigation Plan (PDIP).  

    “The aim is to conduct the risk assessments and undertake sampling and testing activities on each affected property to resolve the property’s disease status as quickly as possible.

    “Affected producers are urged not to move or slaughter trace forward stock as this may greatly extend the time a property is under movement restrictions.

    “Sampling and testing will be performed by Biosecurity Queensland field staff. Private veterinarians working on affected properties should seek advice from Biosecurity Queensland first about movement restrictions and the sampling and testing process.

    “BJD test results can take up to 12 weeks or longer which is standard for this test. Even for livestock tested immediately, definitive results will not be available before March 2013.

    "I understand that this will be a difficult and challenging process for some livestock owners. Biosecurity Queensland is working closely with all parties to contain any further infection and resolve cases as quickly as we can.”

    Biosecurity Queensland has consulted with industry groups and other stakeholders.

    “I will be heading to Rockhampton tomorrow morning to meet with key industry stakeholders including - Agforce, Cattle Council of Australia - the Australian Brahman Breeders’ Association and Selling Agents to discuss our plans to quickly identify the properties affected, quarantine and testing procedures.”

    Affected producers who have been placed under movement restrictions by Biosecurity Queensland can apply for support under the National BJD Financial and Non-Financial Assistance Package. www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/programs/johnes-disease/bovine-johnes-disease-in-australia/national-bjd-financial-and-non-financial-assistance-package

    Background:

    Bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) is a serious disease of cattle and other ruminant species.

    It can cause chronic diarrhoea or ill-thrift, leading to emaciation and eventually death. There is no effective treatment and it is not a risk to human health.

    The disease lives in the soil. It generally infects young calves but doesn’t become apparent for a couple of years.

    BJD is endemic in Victoria and parts of South Australia and New South Wales.

    Queensland has a very low prevalence of BJD through requirements for entry of stock to the state, and by rigorous control of known or suspected infection.

    Follow Biosecurity Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@BiosecurityQld).

    [ENDS] 29 November 2012

    Media: Lachlan Millar – 0407 394 580