Our cattle tested positive for bovine Johne’s disease and Japan says no thanks

After a number of animals tested positive for bovine Johne’s disease, Japan has temporarily stopped accepting live feeder and breeder

After a number of animals tested positive for bovine Johne’s disease, Japan has temporarily stopped accepting live feeder and breeder cattle exports from Australia, reports the Brisbane Times.

The Department of Agriculture said it was aware of the announcement made by Japanese authorities and will investigate whether the cattle were prepared according to requirements.

“It’s a concern to us and our department is working closely with Japanese authorities, trying to resolve it as quickly as possible,” said a spokeswoman for Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to Brisbane Times.

Johne’s disease is caused by bacteria and leads to diarrhoea, tissue wastage and eventual death of the cattle. Cattle are commonly infected as calves but many do not display symptoms for many years, according to Animal Health Australia. The disease is relatively rare in Australia,

According to Japanese inspectors, they detected traces of the disease during post-quarantine inspections, a spokeswoman for Mr Joyce said. The affected cattle belonged to a consignment of about 300 Holstein heifers from outside Melbourne that were exported last week, she added.

According to trade magazine Beef Central, Even though the number of heifers exported to Japan each year is relatively small, the temporary suspension will affect the much larger bilateral trade in Wagyu feeder cattle, which are exported to Japan at a rate of 1000 a month.

Australian Livestock Exporters Council chief executive Alison Penfold said the affected consignment had been certified as eligible for export, meaning the cattle would have tested negative for Johne’s while in Australia.

“All animals exported from Australia must meet strict importing country requirements and be certified as eligible to receive an Australian Government health certificate,” she said.

“There are government-to-government discussions underway and [the] industry supports this process.”

Japan is the ninth-largest market for Australian cattle exports, valued at $14.6 million in 2014-15. Australia’s biggest export markets for live cattle are Indonesia, Vietnam and China.

How does this news make you feel?

  1. Live cattle exports should have been stopped long ago for many reasons among them – the excruciatingly arduous journey by ship, where they are packed in with very little standing room and substandard care from overseas workers on the way. In many countries (not all) the vicious cruelty with which both cattle and sheep are treated when they reach their destination is the main reason why this trade should have been stopped many years ago.

    Abattoirs here have been closed and workers sacked to enable the likes of Australian Meat Holdings et al to make huge profits. New Zealand banned live export and they have done very well with the frozen trade, and there is no reason why Australia couldn’t phase this in too for the sake of our workforce. Of course the government couldn’t give a toss about the welfare of the animals, which is why it is proving so hard to get any government to re-open the office of animal welfare in Canberra after Tony Abbott closed it when he came into office.

    • Cass North  

      I agree with you totally,no one gives a toss about the welfare of the animals.
      It’s all about the mighty $

  2. Hans  

    Apparently the bacteria can be transferred through cows milk. Cow’s Milk has been implicated in many health problems including, but not limited to: allergies, asthma, bone and joint diseases, constipation, type-1 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous system disorders, and skin rashes. Now research shows that Cow’s Milk may also be the underlying cause of Crohn’s Disease.

    Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found how a bacterium, known to cause illness in cattle, may cause Crohn’s disease in humans. Crohn’s is a condition that affects one in 800 people in the UK and causes chronic intestinal inflammation, leading to pain, bleeding and diarrhea.
    The team found that a bacterium called Mycobacterium Para tuberculosis releases a molecule that prevents a type of white blood cell from killing E.coli bacteria found in the body. E.coli is known to be present within Crohn’s disease tissue in increased numbers.
    It is thought that the Mycobacterium make their way into the body’s system via cows’ milk and other dairy products. In cattle, it can cause an illness called Johne’s disease – a wasting, diarrhea condition. Until now, however, it has been unclear how this bacterium could trigger intestinal inflammation in humans.
    Professor Jon Rhodes, from the University’s School of Clinical Sciences, explains: “Mycobacterium Para tuberculosis has been found within Crohn’s disease tissue but there has been much controversy concerning its role in the disease. We have now shown that these Mycobacterium release a complex molecule containing a sugar, called mannose. This molecule prevents a type of white blood cells, called macrophages, from killing internalised E.coli.”
    What can you do to prevent or even overcome this debilitating disease?
    First and foremost, give up drinking Cow’s Milk and eating foods containing milk like cheese, yogurts, cream cheese, butter and any other food product that contains dairy ingredients. Become a food-label reader.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *