Protecting Yourself from OJD if you Buy in Sheep

​​Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) spreads through trade of sheep from flocks whose owners haven't taken precautions to prevent infection, and don't even realize that their flock is infected.

If your flock is not infected and you want to buy sheep, then purchase sheep that have a low risk of having OJD. If you do buy OJD infected sheep, you not only infect your own flock, but you also put your neighbours at risk because the disease crosses fences with ease.​

You need a lot more than a casual assurance from the vendor to protect your flock. You need written information about OJD assurance or risk in the animal you're considering buying - you'll find it on the National Sheep Health Declaration​ (NSHD).

What should I, as a buyer, do to protect my flock?​

Always insist on a completed a National Sheep Health Declaration​ (NSHD) from the vendor before you buy.

If you believe that your property is free of OJD infection, then buy sheep  from a flock that is Sheep MAP accredited, or has testing results recorded on the NSHD indicating that the flock has had a negative abattoir 500 or negative PFC 350 in the last 2 years. As an added precaution, it would be advisable to only buy vaccinated sheep from these properties.​

All other sheep producers in Tasmania would be well advised to only buy 'approved vaccinate' sheep.

What do I look for on the Sheep Health Declaration?

 Look for sheep which have been:

  • Vaccinated as lambs or vaccinated before being exposed to the disease (approved vaccinates)

  • From a vendor that has been vaccinating continuously for a number of years (the more years, the better)

  • From a flock in the Market Assurance Program (SheepMAP). This is the highest level of assurance possible.

  • From flocks where records of testing history are available (via NSHD)

How can the Sheep Health Declaration help protect trade?

The National Sheep Health Declaration​ (NSHD) provides a means for vendors to promote the sheep with the best OJD assurance.

It will also be the most valuable tool by which buyers can minimise risk.

See the Explanator​​y Notes for a guide to understanding the information that will be provided to you on the NSHD the next time you purchase or agist sheep.


Animal Disease Enquiries

13 St Johns Avenue,
New Town, TAS, 7008.