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HERD/FLOCK MANAGEMENT
JOHNE'S INFORMATION CENTER - University of Wisconsin Ñ School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin - School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin - School of Veterinary Medicine
HERD/FLOCK MANAGEMENT
At a Glance


  Certification programs benefit the industry by stopping spread of Johne's disease.






Certification programs are useful tools for helping the members of an animal industry control the spread of Johne's disease.

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Photo of sheepDefinition

Certification is loosely defined as a process designed to classify flocks according to the probability that individual animals in those flocks are infected with M. paratuberculosis.

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Goal

The primary aim of a certification program is two-fold:

1. Provide a simple system to communicate to buyers the risk of buying an M. paratuberculosis-infected animal.
   
  2. Stop the spread of this infection to non-infected flocks. Flock certification is the foundation of paratuberculosis prevention.
   
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Basic Concepts Header

Johne's disease should be considered a flock, not just an individual animal, health problem. Certification programs apply laboratory tests to classify flocks by levels of infection ranging from not infected at all to very likely infected. Often such programs have regulations that participating flock owners must follow regarding the sources for replacement animals. These rules are designed to help flock owners avoid bringing M. paratuberculosis-infected sheep into their flocks without compromising their ability to do business.

 

These programs can be established by industry associations, state or federal governments or a consortium of participants. For example, Australia has created Johne's disease certification programs for cattle (both beef and dairy), sheep, goats, and alpaca. The program is administered by Animal Health Australia, a novel non-profit corporation with joint funding from animal health industries and the state and federal governments. This program demonstrates that an animal industry need not wait for state or federal initiatives

 

These programs offer economic value to participants: owners of flocks certified as free of the infection usually can command higher prices for their animals. Certification programs are an animal industry's best defense against the spread of Johne's disease and can be designed to meet the needs of any animal industry.

 

Consider supporting a certification program for the health of your animals and your industry.


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