Ovine Johne's Disease (OJD)

Managing Ovine Johne’s Disease Risks

Ovine Johne’s disease (OJD) is caused by bacteria Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and results in chronic intestinal infection in sheep and goats. The bacteria are spread to other animals through infected manure contaminating pasture and water supplies.

Infected animals show varying signs ranging from production losses through to chronic wasting and death. Scouring may occur but is not routinely seen. Most infected sheep only begin to show signs of illness when they are two-years of age.  Infected sheep may shed bacteria while still appearing healthy.

There is no cure or treatment for OJD. There is a vaccine available- this will assist to reduce mortalities and shedding of the bacteria, however vaccinated animals may still shed the bacteria.

Managing OJD risks

There are no movement restrictions into or within NSW on account of OJD.

All sheep entering NSW must be accompanied by a completed National Sheep Health Declaration which is required as a vendor declaration for footrot.

For information on the management of OJD risks see:

National OJD Management Plan

The National OJD Management Plan (NOJDMP) was reviewed in the first half of 2018 and the program has not been extended.   The decision has been made by the sheep industry’s peak industry councils – Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia – based on expert technical advice that producers can continue to effectively manage the endemic disease as part of their overall approach to animal health and biosecurity.

For further information on the review see the Animal Health Australia website.

Management of OJD will continue as part of the Sheep Health Project at Animal Health Australia. In NSW, the following abattoirs are able to provide OJD monitoring on request:

  • Fletcher International, Dubbo
  • Cowra Abattoir
  • Thomas Food International, Tamworth

To request abattoir monitoring for OJD please complete the form Request for OJD abattoir monitoring in NSW (DOC, 95 KB). Email completed form to animal.biosecurity@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Johne’s Disease Market Assurance Programs (MAPs)

Through on-farm biosecurity practices and testing, SheepMAP aims to reduce the impact of OJD on livestock and trade to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sheepmeat and wool industries in Australia.

Further information on SheepMAP is available at: