Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update.

Diseases Covered

Johne's Disease

Click here for more information, application forms and submission forms for our Johne's Disease health scheme for sheep and goats.


Key Points on Johne’s Disease in Sheep and Goats

The disease:

  • The same bacteria causes Johne’s disease in both cattle and sheep and goats.
  • The bacteria can survive for many months on pasture.
  • Johne’s bacteria can be spread by wildlife e.g. deer and rabbits.


  • Young lambs and kids are most susceptible to infection.
  • Disease symptoms take a few years to develop.
  • Loss of condition is the main symptom.
  • Scouring is much less common in sheep and goats than in cattle.
  • Bottle jaw (swelling under the jaw) may be seen in the later stages.


  • Target testing to animals that are thin for no obvious reason i.e. not broken mouthed or lame.
  • Investigate ewes on good grass that fail to gain weight after weaning.
  • A blood test is available but animals in the early stages of infection can test negative.
  • Faecal testing can be done (submit individual samples for pooling at the lab).
  • Remember - other conditions can cause ill thrift.
  • Post mortems can be used to diagnose Johne’s disease but will also identify other problems such as liver fluke, MV/CAE or Jaagsiekte (OPA).


  • Do not graze sheep and goats with cattle and keep stocking rates as low as possible.
  • Housing and/or lambing in-bye can increase the risk of lambs and kids becoming infected. Use plenty of bedding and dag ewes if necessary.
  • Move stock into lower risk areas as soon as possible.
  • Cull suspect/confirmed cases as soon as possible and DO NOT keep the offspring of infected animals as replacements.
  • Provide mains water from clean troughs where possible.
  • Wean lambs onto grass that was not grazed by adult sheep this year if possible.
  • The available vaccine will reduce losses but it will not eradicate Johne’s from a flock or herd.


Further Information

Download our Johne's Disease health scheme forms.

Download the PSGHS Price List.

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