Past Projects

Animal Health and Welfare

Johne's Beef Cattle Awareness Program

Research Lead: Dr. Ann Godkin , Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Executive Summary

With funding from the Agricultural Adaptation Council, OCA and OMAFRA have partnered on a beef-specific project to raise awareness of the incidence of Johne’s Disease in purebred beef herds in Ontario, and to develop best management practices that will be available to the industry as a whole to mitigate the spread of the disease. The goal is to enroll 75 herds with average herd numbers of 40 cows.  The herd veterinarians will take blood samples from the cows and the samples will be tested at the Animal Health Lab in Guelph.  Once the results are available, the veterinarians will return to the respective farms and provide a farm-specific Risk Assessment and Management Plan (RAMP) to the farmer. 

To date, 75 herds have enrolled in the program, and 69 herds have completed testing, and 62 producers have submitted their pre-visit assessments, which help to demonstrate the level of Johne’s awareness prior to participating in the program. Testing identified Johne’s disease in 35 of the 69 herds (51 percent), with 19 herds testing positive for more than 1 animal (28 percent of herds tested). The project should be completed by August of this year. We hope to better understand how prevalent Johne’s is in the Ontario beef herd, the level of previous awareness producers had about the disease, and what on-farm risk factors were most frequently identified during the Risk Assessment and Management Plan (RAMP) consultations between producers and vets.

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