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Johne's Restrictions to be Lifted

21 February 2013

AUSTRALIA - Movement restrictions will be removed from at least 20 Queensland cattle properties over the coming days, while another trace forward property has tested positive with bovine Johne's disease (BJD).

Chief Biosecurity Officer Dr Jim Thompson said the latest property with BJD had been under movement restrictions as it had received cattle from the infected property in Rockhampton.

"This latest positive result, which was detected using the new PCR faecal test, brings the total number of infected properties in the most recent response to four," Dr Thompson said.

"Initial information indicates that this latest property sends most of its stock to slaughter, and there may only be a small number of further trace forward properties that may require movement restrictions. This is being confirmed."

Dr Thompson said that with the release of the 20 properties, the current number of properties under movement restrictions would drop to under 100.

"Obviously this figure may increase again if more positive results are received and more trace forward properties identified, but for now, we are taking this reduction as a positive sign," he said.

"These new developments demonstrate that our processes are working - test results are being received faster and where possible properties are being released."

Dr Thompson said we would be contacting relevant owners as soon as possible to notify them if their movement restrictions had been lifted.

"While this is positive news, we need to remember that we still have a long way to go in this response," he said.

"BJD is a difficult disease to test for and manage and while results to date have been encouraging, there may be further positive results as we continue this testing program.

"As I have said previously, we are committed to working with industry to ensure Queensland´s protected status for BJD remains intact."

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