23 Jun 2021

Industry Support For New Approach To Johne’s Test Interpretation

At the Action Group on Johne’s meeting on 6th May industry stakeholders gave their full support for the new Johne’s Tracker which will provide vets and farmers with a powerful tool for interpreting Johne’s test results.

The Johne’s Tracker provides a common framework for presenting Johne’s test results which will give vets and farmers greater insight into the effectiveness of the Johne’s management strategy used on the farm. The Tracker takes historic test results, along with other herd data, and provides a simple visual representation that gives a clear picture of disease progression in the herd. This will help farmers determine what they need to do to keep reducing the incidence of the disease, or for low prevalence farms, ensure they maintain control.

The tool is being incorporated into the result reports provided by the Johne’s testing labs and should be available by the end of the summer. In preparation, the labs have agreed to recommendations from the Johne’s test kit provider IDEXX that will ensure greater standardisation of test results. This will be central in delivering an accurate picture of the average test results which under the Tracker will be a key measure of performance for individual farms.

Lyndon Edwards, Chair of the Action Group said: ‘I welcome full industry support for the Johne’s Tracker. It gives further momentum to the scheme and it will demonstrate to farmers the success of their efforts in tackling this disease’.

Chair of the Johne’s Technical Group Pete Orpin said: ‘We are grateful for the support of the testing labs in adopting the recommendations of IDEXX and working on the Johne’s Tracker. It will consolidate the idea that Johne’s testing is not just about the thresholds for culling, but about risk management, and ensuring sustained delivery of disease control strategies’.


- The Johne’s Tracker was commissioned by the Action Johne’s Group from Reading University.

- As an Action Group initiative, the project was co-funded by AHDB and dairy processors.

- IDEXX recommended changes in the test protocols used by specific labs to eliminate slight differences in milk sample results near to the positive cut off point. The differences were small but nevertheless minimising them was necessary to ensure the robustness of the Johne’s Tracker.

- Full details of the Tracker will be made available at a launch event to be held in mid-July.