Financial impact of Ovine Johne's Disease on the processing sector in Australia

Marta Hernandez-Jover, Ian Links, R Bell, Gavin Ramsay, B Jackson, Thomas Nordblom

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Johne's disease causes considerable economic losses to the livestock industries; however, the financial impact of Ovine Johne's Disease (OJD) in sheep at slaughter has not been previously investigated. The aims of this study were to estimate the financial loss due to OJD to producers and processors in Tasmania at the abattoir and to investigate potential associations between the presence of carcass lesions with carcase quality and economic cost of the disease. A case study among a cohort of 20 producers, investigated producer attitudes towards abattoir disease feedback and OJD management practices. Data from 358 consignments (203 lamb, 17 hogget & 138 mutton) and 31,858 individual carcasses were collected from an abattoir. Six mutton consignments were OJD positive, with a median apparent within consignment prevalence of 4.6% (5-95%, 3.5% - 16.1%). Forty-seven consignments (6 lamb, 2 hogget and 39 OJD negative mutton) had OJD vaccination lesions, with a 3.0% (0.40% ' 17.6%) median proportion of carcasses with lesions. The mean carcass weight, value, fat class, slaughtering time and skin price per consignment were not associated with the presence of OJD and OJD vaccination lesions. The individual carcass weight was associated with the presence of OJD vaccination lesions (p = 0.008). The median proportion of total consignment weight trimmed due to OJD vaccination lesions was 0.03% (0 ' 0.73). The framework for the economic analysis considered direct and indirect costs at slaughter. The direct costs are due to the meat, viscera and skin loss and the waste disposal costs; while, the indirect costs are due to an increase in labour costs. Most producers (95%) participating in the case study believed the disease feedback received from the abattoir was useful and prompted changes in their attitudes towards these conditions and management practices. Costs due to reduced payment from the abattoir was the most important motivator for practice change.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventParatuberculosis, Johne's Disease - Parma, ITALY, Italy
Duration: 22 Jun 201426 Jun 2014


ConferenceParatuberculosis, Johne's Disease


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