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this model. However, relatively few herd owners have elected to pursue herd certification citing the amount of testing required and the associated costs as the main deterrent. Consequently, in 1997 the USAHA National Johne’s Working Group (NJWG) appointed a committee to try to design a more affordable and yet scientifically sound herd certification program.
Multiple meetings were held to design this program and input was solicited from experts and all stake holders. The program was submitted for discussion at NJWG meetings held in conjunction with the Livestock Conservation Institute’s meeting March 1998 and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association meeting in July 1998. In August 1998, the program was sent to all state veterinarians, area-veterinarians-in-charge, veterinary associations, cattle breed associations, and interested industry groups for comment. The program was adopted by USAHA in October 1998.
The program presented in this document is intended as a model. The guidelines are considered minimal requirements for operation of a scientifically sound program to identify herds of low risk of M. paratuberculosis infection (Johne’s disease). This model program was developed to assist State Veterinarians and Johne’s disease advisory committees, or their equivalent, in each state as they consider implementation of Johne’s disease herd certification programs. It is hoped that the model program will promote greater similarity and equity among different state programs.