Dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who want to help prevent or control Johne’s disease in their herds often ask where they should start with the process. The answer: Begin by conducting an on-farm risk assessment. Then develop and follow a management plan specific to a farm or ranch.
Three recently updated handbooks—“Handbook for Veterinarians and Dairy Producers,” “Handbook for Veterinarians and Beef Producers” and “How to do Risk Assessments and Develop Management Plans for Johne’s Disease”—are available for dairy and beef producers and their veterinarians who are serious about addressing Johne’s and stopping the financial drain of this devastating disease.
This fourth edition of the handbooks reflect the USDA’s updated Program Standards for the Voluntary Bovine Johne’s Disease Control Program and are significantly more user friendly.
“The team in charge of developing the 2011 edition of the handbooks brainstormed long and hard to develop easy-to-comprehend and easy-to-complete information and forms, and I think all three handbooks are homeruns,” states Dr. Elisabeth Patton, chairman of U.S. Animal Health Association’s Johne’s Disease Committee.
Patton explains that the handbooks are for use by veterinarians with dairy and beef clients to improve biosecurity and reduce pathogens, particularly Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis or MAP, the bacteria known to cause Johne’s disease. The ‘how to do risk assessments and develop management plans’ handbook is a companion piece to the other two.
“Together the three handbooks are a veterinarian’s manual to help dairy and beef producers reduce or prevent Johne’s disease in their herds,” Patton says. “Many of the management practices developed to address Johne’s disease should help reduce the presence of other pathogens, as well.”
The “Handbook for Veterinarians and Dairy Producers” is short and to the point: one page is devoted to herd health status and concerns, while the remaining six pages address risk assessment and management recommendations related to calving area, pre-weaned heifer calves, post-weaned heifers, bred heifers, cows and bulls, and replacements and additions.
The “Handbook for Veterinarians and Beef Producers” has just eight pages: one page for recording herd health status and concerns and six pages dedicated to risk assessment and management recommendations related to calving area, nursing calves, weaned heifers and bulls, bred heifers and yearling bulls, cows and bulls, and replacements and additions.