The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is launching a collaborative effort between industry and government to educate producers, veterinarians and others involved in dairy and beef production about Johne’s disease. The program is designed to help minimize risks and control Johne’s disease, a bacterial disease of the intestinal tract. The disease is prevalent in cattle, but is also found in other ruminants. It is estimated to cost the dairy industry in excess of $200 million annually.
“The National Johne’s Educational Initiative will enhance educational efforts about Johne’s by utilizing previously available information on the disease and coordinating the development of new materials that are needed,” says Ken Olson, Johne’s education coordinator for NIAA. “The goal is to control and reduce incidence of Johne’s in the
NIAA is working with USDA on the initiative to implement a strategic plan developed by the National Johne’s Working Group, which is part of the U.S. Animal Health Association. The collaborative effort provides a focal point for collection and distribution of Johne’s information, according to Olson.
“Through this initiative, we will be reviewing existing publications and information as well as identifying additional educational needs for producers and those who work with them,” says Olson.
The initiative will help producers in three key areas:
· Minimize the risk of Johne’s entering their herd through implementation of proven management practices.
· Reduce the economic impact in herds with the disease through enhanced management.
· Eliminate Johne’s as a factor in dairy and beef production.
More information on the Initiative will be available on the Internet at www.johnesdisease.org, which is currently under development.
National Institute for Animal Agriculture