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LIVESTOCK | 29 May 2013

New National OJD Management Plan and Revised Sheep Health Statement


The Australian sheep industry has agreed on revised arrangements for the management of Ovine Johnes Disease. The National OJD Management Plan 2013-18, which comes into effect on July 1, enables producers to take a risk-management approach to their farm biosecurity.

The plan was developed by the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers Australia following extensive consultation with producers, industry and state governments.

Central to the plan is a new national Sheep Health Statement (SHS), which is the most important disease management tool that buyers can use.

The SHS has been designed for adoption nation-wide and includes recognition of OJD vaccination and testing results. It features a series of ‘Yes / No’ questions to allow buyers to make biosecurity decisions about OJD risk, as well brucellosis, footrot and lice.

The new SHS provides buyers with information to make informed purchasing decisions.

The SHS is a voluntary document except in NSW and SA. It is recommended that vendors provide a SHS and buyers request a SHS as it provides a level of information to minimise the risk of disease spread.

Producer feedback during the public consultation on the National OJD Management Plan indicated that OJD zoning should end and this in incorporated in the plan. As some areas / states may choose to enforce entry requirements, producers trading sheep interstate should check with State Government authorities whether restrictions apply.

The plan also encourages producers to collectively develop their own Regional Biosecurity Plans (RBPs), as this provides the added effectiveness of a collective approach.

RBPs are a set of actions agreed to by a group of producers to manage biosecurity risk for their farms. (e.g. groups may agree to only buy vaccinated sheep). Guidelines are available to assist groups of producers in preparing RBP.

  • Finally, there is a new OJD website, www.ojd.com.au, which has been developed to act as a reference point on how to manage disease, reduce risk of spread and to access key documents such as the SHS and guidelines on developing RBPs.


More information on OJD, as well as copies of the National OJD Management Plan 2013-18 and the Sheep Health Statement (SHS), are available from www.ojd.com.au.


National Sheep Health Statement



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