Spike in signs of Johne's disease

10 January 2019

There has been an unusual spike in the signs of Johne's disease in deer processed late last season after several years of gradual decline. DeerPRO is investigating for any underlying cause. We are contacting farmers who processed animals during this period to discuss whether clinical cases of the disease are also becoming more common and what may have triggered them.

We strongly recommend all deer farmers refresh their vigilence on this issue and check rates of infection in their herd by blood testing a 'tail end' group or Still, as the new processing season begins we recommend any farmers seeing a tail end of poor performance in their weaners to immediately contact us or their local veterinarian to establish and treat the cause.    

What can you do to avoid compounding or getting caught up in the situation?

  • Immediately cull deer clinically affected by Johne’s disease, especially in fawning mobs. A quiet walk (or ride) through those mobs now to remove any scouring skinny hinds could stop a productivity time bomb going off next season.
  • Maintain good biosecurity. Make sure purchased deer test negative for Johne’s before being mixed with your own stock.
  • Maintain a high level of herd health. Use the Deer Health Review booklet and your DeerPRO report, they’re freely available and there to help.
  • Be proactive. Call DeerPRO with any questions or for confidential advice and support (0800 456 453).


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