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 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.
Download our Johne's Disease health scheme forms.
Download the PSGHS Price List.