Western dairy producers introduce Johne's Disease control proposal
But crucial human health issues missing from plan
The control program in a nutshell
At the fall meeting of the National Johne's Working Group (NJWG) of the United States Animal Health Association, on October 20, 2000, The Western States Dairy Producers Trade Associations (WSDPTA) introduced a proposed control program for Johne's Disease in cattle.
Johne's Disease in cattle is caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) -- a pathogen that is also suspected of causing Crohn's disease in humans.
The program's basic premise is that it is voluntary. No dairy producer will be required to control Johne's Disease on his farm, nor even be required to test his cows for Johne's Disease. Rather, the hope is that a producer will come to believe that it is to his economic benefit to control Johne's Disease on his farm.
The program's goal is to control the spread of Johne's Disease in cattle, now found in over 40 percent of the large dairy herds in the United states, and according to industry experts, will ultimately infect 100 percent of dairy herds -- unless serious countermeasures are taken soon.
For those producers who enter the program, biosecurity measures will be required to assure that cows added to the herd come from "clean" farms, and that calves born on the farm are kept from possible sources of infection.
A key part of the plan is the removal of infected cows from the farm, and a federal government reimbursement to cover the monetary loss to the farmer for culled cows. WSPTA is counting on reimbursement as incentive to farmers to cull infected cows.
Program addresses animal health, not human health
The plan's biosecurity measures for a "program herd." are stringent.
PARA's proposal to upgrade the plan to protect human health
Cheryl Miller of Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc. (PARA) said, "We at PARA applaud the Western Dairy Producers for taking the initiative with their proposed control program, However we believe that any Johne's Disease control program must protect human health as its top priority. So we offer the following additional elements -- elements that we believe are vital for a truly adequate Johne's Disease control program."
For further information contact
Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.is a non-profit organization of Crohn's disease patients, their families and friends who are dedicated to the following goals:
Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
Temple Terrace, FL 33687-6219
Source: http://www.crohns.org/media/pr301000.htm Contact PARA: http://www.crohns.org/contact.htm
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association