National Johne's disease program

Johne's disease is a serious bacterial wasting disease in cattle, sheep, goats, alpaca, llama, camels and deer. There is no known treatment.

It is not known to exist in the Northern Territory (NT) and has only been detected when infected animals have been brought in from interstate.

If you are a cattle producer you will need to make a biosecurity plan to help stop the disease spreading to the NT.

You will also need to follow the rules for moving livestock. Some of these changed on 1 July 2017.

A property biosecurity plan can help reduce the risk of disease entering or spreading from your property.

To find out more about making a farm biosecurity plan, go to the Animal Health Australia website. You can also get a biosecurity action list.

You do not need to lodge the plan with anyone. You should keep your plan and any related documents on hand for future reference.

If you don't make a plan

If you don't make a biosecurity plan you might not be able to trade with some properties or markets.

You won't be able to sell or move cattle into Western Australia (WA).

This is because your property will be scored at a higher risk of disease under the Johne's Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) system.


The J-BAS is a number from 0 to 8 which represents the risk of Johne's disease on a property.

A high score means a low risk of Johne's disease.

Your NT property will go from J-BAS 7 to J-BAS 0 if you don't have a biosecurity plan.

If you want to sell or move cattle into WA you will need at least a J-BAS 7.

Live export markets require a property to be free from Johne's disease for up to five years. This is consistent with J-BAS 6.

You should check your markets and find out if your buyers require a J-BAS.

Get a J-BAS

Find out how to get a J-BAS using the J-BAS flowchart for NT producers PDF (839.3 KB).

Read what you need to do when moving and exporting livestock.

For information about moving cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, deer or camelids get the Johne's disease: livestock movement requirements fact sheet PDF (819.0 KB).

Bring cattle into the NT

Cattle and buffalo entering the NT must be:

  • free from Johne's disease with a NT health certificate and waybill
  • certified as having a herd score of J-BAS 6 or higher for beef cattle and buffalo or a dairy score of 7 or higher for dairy cattle and dairy buffalo
  • accompanied by a National Cattle Health Declaration
  • identified with a three-hole punch if vaccinated with Silirum vaccine.

If you need to test for Johne's disease as part of J-BAS you should ask your veterinarian for testing options.

Get the Johne's disease: information for NT veterinarians fact sheet PDF (828.7 KB).

If your cattle test positive for Johne's disease

If your cattle test positive for Johne's disease, you must report it to the chief veterinary officer. If initial results are positive, more testing will need to be done.

More information

For more information and resources to help reduce the risk of Johne's disease, go to the Animal Health Australia website.

Last updated: 20 May 2022

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