The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) is pleased to announce that the Johne’s Disease Surveillance Program has been renewed for another five years. The SSGA is the administrator for the Johne’s program and funding is provided under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) program.
“It’s been a popular program among both purebred and commercial beef producers. The renewal of this program will go a long way to help producers be vigilant about controlling Johne’s Disease,” stated SSGA President Bill Huber.
The Ministry of Agriculture developed a surveillance and control program for Saskatchewan cattle that would detect and control Johne’s Disease. The program initially started in the fall of 2013 and concluded in March 2018 with funding provided by Growing Forward 2. It involved only purebred breeders at first, but the program was opened to commercial producers in late 2014.
During the first five years of the program, 15,283 cattle were tested, of which 500 cattle, or 3.3%, tested positive. Testing was carried out on a total of 106 herds. At the herd level, 76% had some cattle testing positive. Within herds with positive tests, up to a quarter of the herd tested positive.
“It’s important to note that the program results don’t represent the average situation in Saskatchewan cattle herds. The majority of producers who signed up to participate in the program had suspected there was Johne’s in their herds already,” the SSGA president stated.
Johne’s is a debilitating bacterial disease affecting the intestines of cattle, sheep and goats. The long incubation period makes Johne’s difficult to detect and prevent. Many animals within a herd may be infected before any clinical signs are observed. Because there is no treatment for Johne’s Disease, it is managed as a herd problem. When a herd is tested, the animals testing positive are usually culled, while recommendations are made related to colostrum and exposure to manure is also managed.
Source : Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association
The Johne’s Disease Surveillance Program is open to all Saskatchewan beef producers. Under the program, mature cows and bulls receive a blood test for Johne’s. If the disease is found in a herd, a Johne’s Disease risk assessment management plan (RAMP) must be completed. The program covers 100% of the costs for testing herds of up to 250 head. New under CAP, the program will cover half of the costs for producers wanting to test a subsequent time. More information about the program can be found here