NEW amendments were proposed this week concerning the management of Ovine Johne's Disease.
According to the proposal, management of the disease would be deregulated nationally but states could still dictate entry requirements for sheep.
In a discussion paper released this week, the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers of Australia have proposed there be no control or protected areas for the disease. "These have now become untenable because of the lack of any formal process for regional bio-security plans by government at the state level," the paper said.
The paper was released yesterday, after industry opposition to the proposed loss of interstate trading credits for vaccinated sheep, led to a six-month delay in implementation of the 2013-2017 national OJD management plan.
Other key amendments include continuation of sheep health statements but removal of the Assurance-Based Credits scheme for vaccinated sheep; encouragement for producers to develop their own RBPs and development of a simpler risk management scheme for the disease.
WPA president Geoff Power believed the amendments would still allow states such as South Australia and Queensland to demand only breeding sheep that have had a negative abattoir or faecal OJD test could cross state borders.
"The big problem is that each state has a different view on OJD - that's the nightmare," he said.
VFF livestock group president Ian Feldtmann said the proposed amendments reinforced the stance of the VFF and allowed producers to have input into the next national OJD management plan. National OJD Steering Committee chairman Frank Tobin said the discussion paper stated vaccination was the best tool for reducing clinical expression of the disease and shedding by infected sheep, but did not propose a way to encourage the practice.
Copies of the discussion paper can be requested by calling 1800 332 312. Submissions close on March 1.