Health Monitoring Issues

At Kaya we implement what we consider “best practice” with the monitoring of potential health issues such as Brucella Ovis, parasite resistance, and Johne’s Disease. To send sheep to many regions of the Eastern States, breeders in Western Australia have to go through an OJD monitoring program.

After 7 years of testing for Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD), 3 abattoir inspections and 2 Pooled Faecal Cultures (PFC’s), we have now been informed by our State Laboratory that we have tested POSITIVE for a routine maintenance PFC for OJD.

This has come as a major blow, as we have had NO CLINICAL SIGNS of the disease, we have NO POST MORTEM SIGNS of the disease and several other NON-SPECIFIC TESTS have shown no evidence of OJD.

With all this taken into account, we have withdrawn from the National Market Assurance Program (MAP) and have commenced a slaughter and re-stock program and an extensive vaccination program. What this means is that we will slaughter all our stud ewes and re-stock with vaccinated lambs derived from our recipient flocks.

Fortunately at Kaya our stud is split into a number of breeding cells. The main farm is where we run our “Full Blood Stud Flock”. This is the flock that has tested positive.

We have 2 other farms where we run our recipient ewes that are now pregnant as a result of this year’s embryo programs. We also have lambs and weaners on these properties that have not yet been transported to our stud farm. These farms have tested NEGATIVE and animals on these properties are therefore still eligible to be sent to any region in Australia.

We are continuing with an extensive testing program to attempt to trace the breakdown in our health status, but we are very confident that the level of disease in our stud flock is minimal, as we have had limited introductions in the last 10 years with most introductions being from “OJD Protected Areas” in Australia.

We would recommend that clients who have purchased animals in the last few years talk to their veterinarian for advice. My personal recommendation would be that studs strongly consider commencing a vaccination program using “Gudair” and practise best management techniques, as from all information and advice received, the level of OJD in Australia is greatly under-estimated and the trauma and financial stress resulting from a “positive” test far outweighs the negatives of vaccination. I would be happy to speak to anyone who wishes to discuss this more extensively (0427 948 339).

As a result of all of the above, my family and I have decided to cancel our involvement in our Gunnedah Sale, as well as our April 2012 Sale. We are continuing testing and will do so with FULL DISCLOSURE of our health status to all our clients. We will make a decision about our October Sale when all results have been obtained and evaluated. We wish to publicly express our appreciation to those who have given us their support during what has been a very difficult time.