on cattle with Johnes disease are generally designed to help
control the infection and help protect buyers of cattle as well
as the cattle herds in the states or countries in which the buyer
/ importer lives. Regulations can originate from the dairy industry
itself (self-regulation) or from governmental bodies. There are
at least four situations where regulations can help to slow the
spread of Johnes disease:
and identification of infected or test-positive animals.
||Disclosure of information
at the time of animal transfer between owners.
||Movement control of
animals between/within countries or between states or regions.
of herds as to their infection status or likelihood of NOT being
is dealt with separately under the "certification"
topic in this website.
are changing at an accelerating pace and it can be frustrating trying
to find out what the rules are. For sources of information on the
latest regulations herd owners should ask their herd veterinarian.
Veterinarians should stay informed about rules and regulations and
ask the chief veterinary officer for their state or country (commonly
called the State Veterinarian in the U.S.) when in doubt. The Internet
is a good source for the latest rules and regulations, but do not
hesitate to call the veterinary official in charge when you have
questions. While websites are useful to get updated information,
sometimes a phone call works even better. Websites generally give
the phone and fax numbers of the veterinary official in charge for
each state or country.
of particular value are:
interstate rules within the U.S.:
you do not like the rules for your state or country, contact the
veterinary official in charge and participate in the process of
changing the rules. In the U.S., 31 states have Johnes disease
advisory committees and several more states are creating them. These
committees, made up largely of producers and veterinarians, are
supposed to help the chief veterinary officer create and implement
rules and regulations concerning Johnes disease that are beneficial
to the industry at large. Remember that there are multiple perspectives
on rules concerning Johnes disease: cattle sellers will feel
very differently from cattle buyers, and states or countries with
little or no Johnes disease will have a different perspective
from those that have significant infection rates. The over-riding
intention of rules and regulations about Johnes disease is
to prevent, as best possible, the spread of this infection.
diseases of animals are "reportable." This generally means that
the veterinarian who makes a diagnosis of a reportable disease is
obligated by law to inform the appropriate veterinary official for
his/her state or country of the diagnosis. Examples of well-known
reportable cattle diseases are tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium
bovis, and brucellosis, caused by Brucella abortus and
also known as Bang’s disease. Sometimes a disease diagnosis obtained
by one method is reportable while diagnosis by another method is
not. As an example, sometimes diagnosis of Johne’s disease by fecal
culture is reportable while diagnosis by ELISA is not. Also, if
the veterinarian uses a state diagnostic laboratory for disease
testing, the results are automatically reported to that state’s
chief veterinary medical officer fulfilling the veterinarian’s reporting
requirement if he/she resides in the same state.
Most private testing laboratories do not do this.
of making Johne’s disease reportable is a hotly debated topic. Some
believe that reporting enhances the ability of regulatory veterinarians
to control this disease because they can monitor which herds are
infected and observe changes in disease prevalence over time. Others
think reporting impairs Johne’s disease control because of a stigma
it places on infected herds. This latter concern is directly related
to the public accessibility of governmental records listing infected
herds, and this too varies among countries and among states within
the U.S. In the U.S., at last count, 13 states had Johne’s disease
listed as a reportable disease by at least one diagnostic method.
At least one state, Wisconsin, has made the state’s Johne’s disease
testing records confidential (exempt from the open records law)
in an effort to encourage more testing by herd owners.
Disclosure of the
Johnes disease status of individual cattle or the herd from which they originate
is not universally or explicitly required. Laws governing this are not necessarily
limited to animal health regulations. In some states, regulations concerning general
commerce are applicable. In some U.S. states, laws such as the Uniform Commercial
Code may apply to sale of cattle. In other states, cattle sales are sold strictly
on a "buyer beware" basis. Sellers of cattle should become well-informed
as to the laws and regulations that apply to sales to avoid liability for sale
of infected animals. For stories of problems resulting from the sale of cattle
or other animals with Johne's disease see the "True
cases and stories" section of this site.
the U.S., Wisconsin has attempted to require that sellers of cattle
explicitly disclose the Johnes disease status of their herd
when selling animals. This law, called the Implied Warranty Law,
is designed to 1) protect buyers by insuring they have the information
needed to make an informed judgement as to the risk of buying an
M. paratuberculosis-infected dairy replacement, and 2) to
slow the spread of this infectious disease for the general benefit
of the cattle industry of the state.
Implied Warranty Law essentially requires that sellers provide to
the buyers information as to the percentage of their herd that is
infected (test-positive), based on testing done within the previous
12 months. Details can be found in a brochure in the Articles section
of this website.
Laws and Regulations articles.
of buying infected cattle based on the test status of herds are
described in the "Prevention"
section under dairy cattle.
of cattle, embryos and semen among herds, states and countries is
common practice. With animal or germ plasm trade comes a risk of
infectious disease transmission. Regulations are designed to limit
this risk. Internationally, the O.I.E. (Office International des
Epizooties), an agency of the World Health Organization, is responsible
for collecting and reporting data on the prevalence of infectious
animal diseases by country and for standardizing methods for disease
diagnosis, among other functions. There are 155 member countries
of O.I.E. A visit to their website
is highly recommended.
maintains two lists of important diseases of animals: List A diseases
are defined as: "Transmissible diseases that have the potential
for very serious and rapid spread, irrespective of national borders,
that are of serious socio-economic or public health consequence
and that are of major importance in the international trade of animals
and animal products." Foot-and-Mouth disease is an example
of a List A disease. List B diseases are: "Transmissible diseases
that are considered to be of socio-economic and/or public health
importance within countries and that are significant in the international
trade of animals and animal products." Johnes disease
(paratuberculosis) is a List B disease. The O.I.E. manual regarding
Johnes disease diagnostics and vaccines (Chapter 3.1.6 of
the 1996 edition) is found at: http://www.oie.int/eng/normes/MMANUAL/A_00040.htm
governing what tests for Johnes disease are required for importation
of cattle or germ plasm (embryos and semen) are set by the importing
country. The importing country should be contacted before shipment
to get the most up-to-date testing requirements. A useful website
for finding this information is:
regarding Johnes disease testing requirements for movement
of cattle within different countries are too numerous to be maintained
on this website. However, for examples of Johnes disease regulations
governing animal movement within Australia, visitors should go the
website of Animal Health Australia.
And, for general information concerning Johnes disease regulations
within the U.S. visitors should go to the website of the USDA-APHIS-VS.
Rules about paratuberculosis
governing inter-state movement of cattle are found in the Code
of Federal Regulations 9CFR parts 80 and 71 concerning Johnes disease.
Proposed changes to the CFR parts 80 and 71 were published for comment on March
22, 1999. The comment period closed May 21, 1999. These changes became effective
May 10, 2000. Key
provisions include: 1) cattle that test positive for Johne's disease by an organism
detection based test, such as fecal culture-positive, be moved interstate to slaughter
only, and 2) such animals must move on an owner/shipper statement. The changes
define an official test as an organism detection based test to include fecal culture
and genetic probes (PCR methods). Click on the icon below to download
the full text 9 CFR Parts 71 and 80 "Johnes disease in domestic animals;
page article here.
is covered on a separate page: