Detection of cattle infected with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is challenging, because most infected cattle do not consistently shed MAP and do not consistently produce MAP specific antibodies. However, environmental samples (ES) might be an inexpensive and easy method to identify MAP-infected herds. This review summarized scientific evidence from 25 source publications on methods for ES collection and laboratory processing, as well as the capacity of MAP antigen detection assays used in ES to detect MAP-infected cattle herds. In source publications, environmental manure sampling, sampling socks and dust sampling were used as sampling methods. Authors concluded that for environmental manure samples, it was important to focus sample collection on high cow-traffic areas and liquid manure storage areas. Straw content should be low and sample consistency relatively liquid. A total of 6 manure samples detected similar to 70% of infected herds. In addition, sampling socks were an easy and quick alternative to environmental manure samples, which are also collected in high cow-traffic areas. Though dust can be used to isolate MAP, dust samples are currently mainly used to investigate MAP transmission through aerosols rather than for diagnostic purposes. The ES were analyzed using culture or PCR methods, Although false positive results were generally believed to occur rarely, detection limits differed among protocols. Furthermore, probability of detecting MAP-infected herds increased with increasing numbers of environmental samples collected on a farm and increasing numbers of herd visits. Regardless, design of sampling schemes for various sampling purposes needs to be determined in future studies. In conclusion, ES were a useful tool to detect MAP in cattle herds.