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JOHNE'S INFORMATION CENTER - University of Wisconsin Ñ School of Veterinary Medicine


Prevention pays!

Prevention is the most cost-effective way to manage Johne's disease. It is far less expensive to block introducing Johne's disease into a goat herd than it is to control or eradicate the infection once it creeps in and invisibly starts to spread.

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Kids should be kept away from infected adults and adult manure that may be contaminated with the organism. Learn the Johne's disease infection or test status of the source herd for any goats you are considering for purchase. Should you need to hand-rear kids, use pasteurized milk.
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Risk management is the foundation of any good animal care program; the risk of becoming infected by bringing in infected goats is manageable. Smart buyers will apply the concepts of risk management and require diagnostic test results for the source herds to limit their risk as much as possible. Owners must recognize the risk of buying MAP-infected animals if they do not purchase from test-negative herds. You are better off buying a test-negative animal from a herd with a known low test prevalence than buying an animal from a herd that has no clue about its Johne's disease history.

In addition to buying it in, other routes of introducing MAP infection exist, but they are of much lower risk (although data is limited quantifying these risks). These other routes include spreading contaminated manure on land used for grazing or forage production, use of colostrum or milk from goat or bovine dairy herds of unknown status for hand-rearing orphaned neonates, or animal access to water from heavily contaminated adjacent farms. These routes are theoretically important, but the risk of acquiring the infection from them is likely much lower than through the purchase of animals.

For the goat industry, self-regulation to encourage open discussion of Johne's disease and marketing of animals from test-negative herds is the best way to manage it.


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