December 03, 2003



Australia Cattle Producers To Receive Financial Aid To Rid Herds of BJD

Financial assistance could be available within a year for Australia's cattle producers to rid their herds of BJD (Bovine Johne's Disease). BJD is a debilitating disease that can have severe economic effects if it is left uncontrolled and allowed to build up in herds or areas. Infected animals often do not show signs until late in life and can be spreading the bacteria in their faeces.


The aid would come in the form of a $4 million eradication program funded from Animal Health Australia's BJD fund, which receives 8 cents from the $3.50 cattle transaction levy. The move has received conditional approval at the Cattle Council of Australia's (CCA) AGM.


The scheme would involve tests to confirm BJD, followed by requests for situational assessments though district veterinary officers and BJD counsellors.


Gratis assessment reports would be available to producers. If a decision were made to eradicate BJD, a plan would be put in place and the producer would receive assistance, but he would have to contribute to some degree.


The NSW (New South Wales) Farmers' Association says the dairy industry also contributes to the BJD fund but is excluded from the assistance scheme. The association wants some recognition from the CCA that some of the BJD funds will be spent on the dairy industry, perhaps on R&D.

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