Voluntary abattoir inspections
Producers can request that their sheep are inspected for Johne's disease (JD) when sending them through Thomas Food International abattoirs in South Australia. The sheep will be are then inspected for lesions in the intestinal tract.
Any lesions detected will be further tested to confirm JD by the laboratory (tissue examination – histopathology).
Requirements and eligibility of sheep
Animals must be over 2 years of age to be eligible for abattoir inspection. Animals under two years have not yet undertaken the typical incubation period after which disease can be identified through abattoir inspection.
Only consignments of sheep sold direct to a participating abattoir will be eligible. Sheep sold through saleyards will not be eligible.
What is Abattoir 150 and 500
At least 150 sheep, over two years of age, have been submitted to an abattoir in the past 12 months, in one or more lots, and have been examined and all found negative for Johne's disease in sheep. The sheep must have been on the property for at least two years.
At least 500 sheep, over two years of age, have been submitted to an abattoir in the past 24 months, in one or more lots, and have been examined and all found negative for Johne's disease in sheep. The sheep must have been on the property for at least two years.
Applying for an abattoir inspection
You can apply to have sheep inspected for Johne's disease at Thomas Foods International abattoirs.
PIRSA will contact you by email with the results of the abattoir inspection as soon as practically possible after the consignment has been processed.
If Johne's disease is detected?
If Johne's disease lesions are detected in the abattoir inspection, samples will be taken and sent to Gribbles VETLAB.
These lesions will then be assessed microscopically by a Veterinary Pathologist to confirm whether the Johne's disease bacterium is present and responsible for the lesions sampled.
Once confirmed by the laboratory, PIRSA will inform you of the final results and assist you with options on how to proceed in the management of the disease.
For further information on managing JD on your property visit the Managing Johne's disease on infected properties page.
If Johne's disease is not detected?
Having no lesions detected in a consignment does not necessarily mean your flock is free from Johne's disease. It means that it is unlikely Johne's disease has been present for a long period of time at a significant level within this group of animals.
Regular faecal testing of a representative sample of your flock is still the best way to demonstrate that your flock is at low-risk of having Johne's disease.
At the request of the producer, PIRSA can issue certificates for animals slaughtered in South Australia, verifying that the sheep flock is eligible for either an Abattoir 150 or Abattoir 500 status. This status can then be used when declaring your Johne's disease status on the National Sheep Health Declaration.
Enhanced Abattoir Surveillance program
The Enhanced Abattoir Surveillance (EAS) program provides feedback on 19 other health conditions and diseases to South Australian producers that have been detected at Thomas Foods International abattoirs.
EAS inspection of sheep does not require a request form to be filled out and does NOT cover Johne's disease. Inspection for Johne's disease will only occur on request.
Dr Jessica van de Weyer
Phone: (08) 8762 9140
Mobile: 0459 858 906
Phone: (08) 8539 2113
Mobile: 0408 897 583
You can apply to have sheep inspected in Victorian abattoirs.
Robert Suter, Senior Veterinarian, Agriculture Victoria
Phone: (03) 9217 4109
Mobile: 0447 525 635