Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) update

Jess Rummery, Manager Biosecurity & Extension, Northern Australia

We are now nearing the 30 June 2018 deadline for transitional arrangements for testing of cattle in order to meet the requirements of a J-BAS of 7. All J-BAS 7 testing must be collected and sent to the lab before this date in order to make use of these transitional arrangements.

Any action required will depend on what score you want your property to be. This will likely depend on the markets you sell into or the level of assurance you need for Johne’s disease.

Below is a summary of what is needed for each level of J-BAS. Please note, if you are a producer in Western Australia, please refer to the update specific to your state as your arrangements are slightly different.

For producers in all states and territories (except Western Australia)

I want to be a J-BAS 8:

  • Have a biosecurity plan oversighted by your vet.
  • Complete a Sample Test (200-300 head). If your herd size is smaller than 200 head, all cattle will need to be tested. Once this is completed you will be eligible to claim a J-BAS 7.
  • Two years after completing the first Sample Test, another Sample Test can be conducted in order to progress to a score 8.

*note – refer to J-BAS table for other details of on-going testing to maintain a score 8. Please also note, if you are progressing to a J-BAS 7 before 30 June 2018 using the Check Test (50 head), this test will not replace the first test to progress to become a J-BAS 8. Two Sample Tests are required two years apart to meet the testing requirements of a J-BAS 8.

I want to be a J-BAS 7:

*note transitional requirements up until 30 June 2018

Before 30 June 2018: From 1 July 2018:
  • Have a biosecurity plan oversighted by your vet.
  • Complete the Check Test (test of 50 head). These samples need to be collected and sent off to the lab prior to 30 June in order to make use of the transitional arrangements for becoming a score 7.
  • Have a biosecurity plan oversighted by your vet.
  • Complete a Sample Test (a test of 200-300 head). Once this is completed you will be eligible to claim a J-BAS 7. If your herd size is smaller than 200 head, all cattle will need to be tested.

*note – refer to J-BAS table for other details of on-going testing to maintain a score 7.

I want to be a J-BAS 6:

  • Producers who have not completed their testing by 30 June 2018 and do not have their biosecurity plan oversighted by a vet will not be eligible to claim a score 7 or 8. These properties will be eligible to be a J-BAS 6.
  • J-BAS 6 also requires that a biosecurity plan be completed including the optional section on Johne’s disease. This plan does not need to be oversighted by a vet and no testing is required.
  • Under the new Livestock Production Assurance requirements that were introduced on 1 October last year, all accredited producers must have a biosecurity plan in place. This plan can also meet the J-BAS requirements as long as the optional questions specific to Johne’s disease have been addressed.
  • At some stage, properties that do not have a biosecurity plan in place may drop to a J-BAS 0.

*note – in order to be a J-BAS 6 you must have no history of Johne’s disease on the property or a minimum of 5 years since the last clinical case was confirmed on the property.

I do not want to have a J-BAS:

  • Participation in J-BAS is optional and will likely depend on the markets you sell cattle into. If you are selling cattle and someone asks for information on your score you can tell them you are not participating and you do not have a score.

For producers in Western Australia

I want to be a J-BAS 8:

  • You have until 30 June 2018 to complete the testing and send the samples to the lab for the Check Test (test of 50 head) in order to be a J-BAS 8. This testing must be done in conjunction with a biosecurity plan oversighted by your vet in order to be eligible to maintain this score.

*note – refer to J-BAS table for other details of on-going testing to maintain a score 8.

I want to be a J-BAS 7:

  • Given the low risk of Johne’s disease in Western Australia, producers in the state were able to transition to a score of 8 (bypassing a score 7). However, we are aware of some producers that would prefer to be a score 7 rather than an 8. This particularly applies to those that regularly transfer stock between their other properties in northern Australia or people who purchase livestock from states/territories where the entry requirement into WA is a score 7 rather than 8 (this currently applies to cattle transferred into Western Australia from Northern Territory or Queensland).
  • This is possible during this transitional period using the same requirements as a J-BAS 8. To be a score 7, producers are able to conduct the Check Test (test of 50 head) by 30 June 2018 and have biosecurity plan oversighted by a vet and claim a 7 rather than an 8.

*note – refer to J-BAS table for other details of on-going testing to maintain a score 7.

I want to be a J-BAS 6:

  • Producers who have not completed their testing by 30 June 2018 and do not have their biosecurity plan oversighted by a vet will not be eligible to claim a score 7 or 8. These properties will be eligible to be a J-BAS 6.
  • J-BAS 6 also requires that a biosecurity plan be completed including the optional section on Johne’s disease.
  • Under the new Livestock Production Assurance requirements that were introduced on 1 October last year, all accredited producers must have a biosecurity plan in place. This plan can also meet the J-BAS requirements as long as the optional questions specific to Johne’s disease have been addressed.
  • At some stage, properties that do not have a biosecurity plan in place may drop to a J-BAS 0.

*note – in order to be a J-BAS 6 or above you must have no history of Johne’s disease on the property or minimum of five years since last clinical case confirmed on the property.

What if you miss the 30 June 2018 deadline and want to be a score 7 or 8?

  • If you miss the deadline for testing you will be a score 6. You can progress from a score 6 to a score 7, and then from a score 7 to a score 8 if desired, however the testing requirements and time to move up will take longer than if you utilise the transitional arrangements in place for testing before 30 June 2018
  • To become a J-BAS 7 after 30 June 2018 – you would need to have your biosecurity plan oversighted by a vet and complete an initial Sample Test with negative results. A Sample Test is carried out on 200-300 head unless the herd is smaller in which case all cattle will need to be tested.
  • To become a J-BAS 8 after 30 June 2018 – you must first progress to a score 7. Two years after becoming a score 7, another Sample Test (200-300 head) would need to be completed with negative results in order to progress to a score 8.

I do not want to have a J-BAS:

  • Participation in J-BAS is optional and will likely depend on the markets you sell cattle into. If you are selling cattle and someone asks for information on your score you can tell them you are not participating and you do not have a score.

Image: Animal Health Australia

More information on J-BAS can be found on the Animal Health Australia Website or you can contact your local Livestock Biosecurity Network regional manager.