Cattle producers on the south coast need to be aware of the recent changes to the Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) biosecurity rating system, for the management of Johne’s Disease. Johne’s (pronounced “Yo-nees”) is a serious wasting disease, caused by an infectious bacteria, that affects cattle and other ruminants and primarily in the intestinal tract.
The new national approach to Johne’s Disease management gives producers an increased responsibility, requiring the development and implementation of an on-farm biosecurity plan. This plan is helps to manage all aspects of farm biosecurity including entry and exit points for weed management and not just Johne’s Disease.
The Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) has been created as a risk profiling tool, developed for use as a new approach to managing the biosecurity risk of Johne’s disease in beef cattle. The scores have been developed to allow a producer to assess the risk of a herd for the disease, and are based on having a biosecurity plan for the property. This plan aims to give producers better market access especially when dealing interstate or internationally.
The Livestock Biosecurity Network are running information sessions across the state, in collaboration with groups like South Coast Natural Resource Management. Frances Gartrell from the Livestock Biosecurity Network said “Each producer’s business is different. These information sessions are being held so producers have access to the correct information. This way they can make the best decisions for their business”.
“At our Albany session, we are also combining the J-BAS information session with a biosecurity plan development session so producers can walk away knowing exactly what is needed. This a great opportunity for anyone who does not have reliable internet access, or access to a computer” said Ms Gartrell.
To help cattle producers understand the new industry approach around the J-BAS, South Coast Natural Resource Management and Livestock Biosecurity Network are running a free information session on Monday 11 September in the South Coast NRM Conference room at 39 Mercer Road Albany, from 1.00 pm.