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Johne’s disease (JD) is a chronic, production-limiting disease of ruminants. Control programs aiming to minimize the effects of the disease on the dairy industry have been launched in many countries, including Canada. Those programs commonly focus on strict hygiene and management improvement, often combined with various testing methods. Concurrently, organic dairy farming has been increasing in popularity. Because organic farming promotes traditional management practices, it has been proposed that organic dairy production regulations might interfere with implementation of JD control strategies. However, it is currently unclear how organic farming would change the risk for JD control. This review presents a brief introduction to organic dairy farming in Canada, JD, and the Canadian JD control programs. Subsequently, organic practices are described and hypotheses of their effects on JD transmission are developed. Empirical research is needed, not only to provide scientific evidence for organic producers, but also for smaller conventional farms employing organic-like management practices.
organic farming; paratuberculosis; control program; disease prevention; dairy cows