University of Wisconsin–Madison

Cost of JD to The Dairy Industry

Philip Rasmussen from the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, and colleagues have published a study on the economic losses due to Johne’s disease in dairy cattle.  Their Open Access article was published online in the Journal of Dairy Science January 14, 2021.






Johne’s disease (JD), or paratuberculosis, is an infectious inflammatory disorder of the intestines primarily associated with domestic and wild ruminants including dairy cattle. The disease, caused by an infection with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) bacteria, burdens both animals and producers through reduced milk production, premature culling, and reduced salvage values among MAP-infected animals. The economic losses associated with these burdens have been measured before, but not across a comprehensive selection of major dairy-producing regions within a single methodological framework. This study uses a Markov chain Monte Carlo approach to estimate the annual losses per cow within MAP-infected herds and the total regional losses due to JD by simulating the spread and economic impact of the disease with region-specific economic variables. It was estimated that approximately 1% of gross milk revenue, equivalent to US$33 per cow, is lost annually in MAP-infected dairy herds, with those losses primarily driven by reduced production and being higher in regions characterized by above-average farm-gate milk prices and production per cow. An estimated US$198 million is lost due to JD in dairy cattle in the United States annually, US$75 million in Germany, US$56 million in France, US$54 million in New Zealand, and between US$17 million and US$28 million in Canada, one of the smallest dairy-producing regions modeled.


This paper is informative, international in scope, and has an excellent list of references that backup the cost estimates used in this economic modelling exercise.