Johne’s disease programme

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

  • Annual herd test of all cattle two years of age and older & evidence of Johne’s health plan required

Alternative testing:

  • Faeces (tested by PCR or culture) or

  • Individual milk samples on quarterly basis (any cows not being milked and bulls need to be blood sampled in addition)

Annual testing:

  • To progress/maintain status annual herd tests of all cattle of two years old and older are required at 12 month intervals or quarterly individual milk tests over a 12 month period.

Once a herd has gained Risk Level 1 status and has had two subsequent consecutive clear annual herd tests there is the option to move to biennial testing (providing there are more than 20 homebred breeding cattle of two years or older in the herd). This involves testing homebred animals two years old and older every two years. In the intervening year a non-homebred screen must be done, 12 months from the previous test, and any cattle (two years old and older, not including finishers) that are scheduled to be culled must also be tested. If further animals are to be culled before the next herd test is due they must also be tested. Blood and faecal samples should be collected.


Added animal testing (mandatory for herds in Risk Levels 1-4 and advised for Risk Level 5 herds)

Unless they are animals that have been born and have resided in a RL1 herd since birth (in which case testing is optional) then:

  • All cattle must be tested using blood for antibody and faeces for PCR or culture (irrespective of their age)

Cases where Johne’s disease could be involved and testing is required to rule out the disease:

  • Blood and faeces samples to be tested from cattle six months of age and older with weight loss and/or diarrhoea if Johne’s disease cannot be ruled out by vet.

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